CCF Survival Skills  – “I’m a Cadet… Get Me Out of Here!”

We have been developing links with 5 RIFLES, our local battalion based in Bulford, and welcomed soldiers to our CCF weekend in the Forest School. Cadets valued the opportunity to spend the afternoon with 5 RIFLES soldiers, particularly getting hands-on with different weapon systems, equipment and clothing. They tried on ghillie suits, a type of camouflage clothing designed to resemble the background environment such as foliage, snow or sand, and had a reminder about how to conceal themselves by applying three-colour compact camouflage cream to their faces. A few were less keen despite reassurance that the camouflage cream is made by Nivea.

Cadets developed their bushcraft skills building shelters, making fires, purifying water and watching a demonstration about how to prepare food in the outdoors. With help from other cadets, our senior cadets produced a fantastic shelter from sticks and moss. Unfortunately, it did not survive horizontal rain and winds from Storm Freya, so some bedraggled cadets had to move through lashing rain, in the middle of the night, to their tent. As well as slipping and sliding in the mud, cadets had fun paintballing, axe throwing and charging through the woods with Laser Tag equipment.

There was entertainment on Saturday night with the CCF version of “I’m a Celebrity…”. Cadets selected two teams and volunteers attempted a number of challenges. Lulled into a false sense of security, cadets first had to face the edible challenge, starting with ‘camels’ toenails’ – small pieces of fudge, and moving on to edible bugs. There were races to drink ‘macmilkshakes’ made from milk, food colouring and edible bugs. Cadets also put their hands into mystery ration boxes to find plastic spiders amongst goo, and hardy cadets spooned live maggots between containers whilst holding the spoon in their mouths.

Thanks to Jon Edkins of David Wiltshire for taking some fantastic photographs of cadets which captured the essence of our weekend. We are also grateful to Forces TV who filmed cadets with 5 RIFLES on Saturday afternoon. The piece was broadcast on Forces TV and we are proud of our cadets who came across as engaged, confident and well spoken.

Ange Garner, CCF Contingent Commander