A very busy first half term began in the last week in September with the ever-important Skill at Arms weekend for Year 11 cadets. This was well supported and all passed the weapons handling test at the end.
The following weekend saw the first of two Adventure Training weekends run by the CCF in the Autumn Term. A group of staff and 12 cadets travelled to Dartmoor for two nights’ camping and a day and half walking. With variable weather (wind, rain, fog and sunshine), cadets were able to experience the different guises of this unique landscape as they hiked parts of the northern moor.
This was quickly followed by Year 11 Field Day. The Royal Navy (RN) section had an excellent day sailing at Theale, while the Army and RAF sections undertook a voluntary 24 hour/Overnight Exercise at Longmoor Training Area from Friday to Saturday lunchtime. There was a strong cadet and staff attendance and a superb activity, including plenty of blank firing for all in a variety of military exercises, was accomplished in fine weather.
The following week saw the new Year 10 cadets experience their first Field Day. The Army section travelled to Bramley Training Area and worked on a variety of fieldcraft activities, including basher building, cooking in the field and camouflage and concealment. The Royal Air Force (RAF) section travelled to the RAF museum at Hendon while the RN section did a local walk ‘interrupted’ by various command tasks/challenges.
The second weekend trip took place over the first weekend in November using the ever-popular Jersey Camp on the Isle of Wight as our base. Surprisingly, the ferry crossing was ‘flat’, given that Storm Ciaran had tracked through the day before departure. All 24 cadets and accompanying staff enjoyed Saturday’s walk in challenging conditions. Those on the Freshwater to Jersey Camp route were hammered with two heavy hail storms in the morning, before conditions improved. The Sunday walks took place in fine weather, affording excellent views of the surrounding landscape.
The following weekend, cadets and staff from the CCF represented St Bart’s in the Remembrance Day parade in Newbury, marching through town and observing the two-minutes silence alongside other organisations.
The final event of the term was the first of the series of five Sunday walks which are targeted at preparing cadets for the Ten Tors event. The Year 10 cadets involved enjoyed good weather on the day and can now look forward to the rest of the training and preparation for this event over the coming term.