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Challenging Adventure Training with Kent ACF in North Wales

9 May 2023

On 9th April, 24 cadets and six Cadet Force Adult Volunteers (CFAVs) from Kent ACF, along with one CFAV from Essex ACF, deployed to Capel Curig Camp in North Wales by minibus.

All participants, both cadets and CFAVs, were split into four teams for the week. With activities supplied by appropriately qualified specialist local companies, the cost was just under £6,000. Therefore, they looked for funding support and gained funds from ACCT UK and SERFCA. Along with assistance from the County HQ, this ensured all participants only had to pay a nominal fee of £30.

The next four full days saw them carrying out mountaineering, a climbing/zipline day, canyoneering, and an underground experience. In typical Welsh weather, from expected rain and wind, they even ended up with a day of snow, which made for a different but cold mountain day for some teams.

The recent event was a huge success from an organisational point of view, with everyone enjoying safe and enjoyable training. This was the first time in a long while that the county planned and conducted a different AT event, proving their capability to deliver such events.

The county successfully complied with the 3 Star ACS Syllabus, resulting in cadets gaining accreditation on Westminster.
The event challenged both cadets and CFAVs mentally and physically, taking them out of their comfort zones. Teams were decided by Captain Wood, Kent ACF, County DofE Officer, with no knowledge of detachment or friendship groups. This meant that all team members had to form relationships with people they had never met before, and as a result, many of them formed lasting friendships.

At the start of the event all four teams were given a notebook to enable them to write down anonymously any comments, feelings, or general observations about the whole event.

Some of the comments taken direct from the books are:

“I actually jumped from a high rock into freezing water even though I was scared. It was the support and encouragement of the others in the team that got me to do it!”

“Meeting people from other companies within the county and forming friendships, maybe military training could be done like this!”

“Well, I won’t forget my 15th birthday, thanks to you all for making it so memorable!”

“Wet, cold, and slippery in the mine, but I would do it all again, Thank you.”

The Cadets and CFAVs worked well together and developed strong friendships and relationships that can only be stimulated in a challenging environment. All the cadets had nothing but praise for the event, but they also commented on the fact that the CFAVs were doing exactly what the cadets were doing. This broke down many barriers, and the cadets saw the person, not the rank. It was a valuable learning point for everyone involved.

If you are looking to take part in a similar activity and need to fund your trip, you can apply today, here.

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