“Miss, I’m not afraid of spiders anymore”

 There are many benefits of joining the Combined Cadet Force (CCF) including learning new skills, working as part of a team, developing leadership skills as well as, it would seem, befriending scary arachnids!

The majority of our new cadets attended the September Fieldcraft weekend and were taught lessons on building bashas, patrolling, and camouflage and concealment. With two cadets sharing a basha, cadets could put lessons into practice with a night under the stars. There were stories of snores reverberating around the patrol harbour, cadets waking up huddled together on the same sleeping mat, texts home at 3am to tell parents about how cold they felt, giggling cadets at 4am and midnight trips to the Salisbury Plain ‘portaloos of doom’. It’s safe to say that cadets welcomed the fried breakfast on Sunday morning and no doubt a hot shower and their own bed on Sunday evening.

Cadets stealthily attacked a barn at night to steal a cache of Haribo and Jelly Babies, tactically distracting staff with screams and shouts. Inner warriors were released with night attacks on a disused building and battles in the woods on Sunday using laser tag equipment with senior cadets devising a range of scenarios with red against blue teams. Intermediate and senior cadets also refined their shooting skills on the Dismounted Close Combat Trainer, a simulated range within Waterloo Lines in Warminster barracks and displayed some impressive shooting.

Our new leaders should not go without mention; Cadet Colour Serjeant Jack Gaskin and his three Section Commanders, Ben Austin, Freya Smye and Lexie Drake who worked closely with their team of senior cadets. They had a successful weekend – it is no mean feat to plan lessons and organise 36 cadets.   Very many thanks must go to all the staff for laying on such a memorable weekend – there are no doubt some relieved spiders on Salisbury Plain!

Ange Garner, CCF Contingent Commander