CCF Cadets Summer Camp - Jul 2015
This year’s CCF Summer Camp took place at Longmoor Camp, Hampshire and each of the Gordon’s School Cadets threw themselves into all of the activities on offer over the course of their stay.
On Saturday 3rd July, thirty Cadets and six staff members left for Longmoor Camp in Hampshire for the annual CCF summer camp. This year’s camp promised to be an exciting and varied week of adventurous and military activities, which would stretch and challenge everyone.
On arrival the Cadets were shown to their accommodation – it was basic but comfortable. Once beds were made and kit was sorted there was a briefing about the week’s activities followed by the first meal in the army cookhouse. The rest of the evening was spent socialising and relaxing.
The Cadets were up at 6:15am on the Sunday morning and breakfast was served from 7:00am to kick start the “personal development day”. The Cadets formed up on the parade square and were then marched up to the first activities, which were; archery and mountain biking. After being shown how to use a bow and arrow there were various competitions to see who could get the best scores. The mountain biking consisted of a tough eight mile ride across mixed terrain and interesting challenges, such as the see saw. There were a number of casualties and a few grazed knees and elbows but nothing too serious. After lunch the Cadets were taken out to a nearby lake, where there were a number of kayaks and a climbing wall nearby. The group were split into two with one group learning some good kayaking skills and generally getting wet whilst the other group did climbing and an orienteering course.
Monday was field craft, including a paintballing activity with targets as a method for learning pairs fire and manoeuvre. Following that, the Cadets moved on to the TIBUA (training in built up areas) village which used to be the married quarters for the camp. Here the Cadets were shown how to clear a building room by room; they had to work together blank firing the A2 Rifles as they went through the houses looking for enemy. In the afternoon they did blank firing section attacks with a member of staff being enemy in an old building.The objective was to assault his position and clear the area of enemy.
Tuesday was survival skills. The Cadets learned about shelter building, making fire, trapping animals and planning how to survive after a plane crash by prioritising what they had recovered and formulating a plan. In the afternoon they did advanced lessons, which included fire lighting by friction and skinning and butchering a rabbit. They didn’t get to eat the rabbit and had to make do with an evening meal at camp.
Wednesday was range day. The Cadets tried their hand at clay pigeon shooting with 12-bore shotguns and an electronic target range with the A2 Rifles with their targets between 100m and 300m away. The rifles had SUSAT telescopic sights fitted. In the afternoon they did the DCCT (dismounted close combat training), which is like a giant PlayStation or Xbox but with real A2 Rifles that shoot lasers. Finally, the 25m barrack range saw the cadets firing the A2 Rifles again and trying to get as small a grouping as possible. Each Cadet saw their shooting improve significantly over the course of the day.
Thursday was competition day. The morning was quite relaxed with the first team doing a March and shoot, the second team taking part in a fun drill competition and the third team completing a series of challenges called “The Cube”. There was then a presentations parade and Gordon’s School were delighted to be crowned winners of the march and shoot competition. That afternoon, the contingent marched out to the training area to start their 24 hour exercise. The Cadets carried their bergans to the harbour area where they set up their bashas and cooked food from 24 hour ration packs. They were then briefed by Major Balmer and began their activity – to conduct recce patrols moving tactically towards an area where the enemy were thought to be, trying to gain information about their position and equipment etc.
That evening, the Contingent mounted an Ambush on a known enemy water point. All the girls in the section played enemy along with Mr Fox. The Ambush was a great success. After a night under their bashas the Cadets were given a set of orders by Major Balmer for an attack on a communication tower. On return to camp we cleaned weapons, handed in stores and prepared for the end of camp BBQ.
That evening, we packed our bags ready for the return to Gordon’s and a well-earned break! A very big thank you to: Rev Rob, Mrs Powell, Mr Matthews, Gappie Jess and Major Balmer for all their hard work in making the week an amazing experience.