Henley Army Cadets Away on Their Summer Camp

Recently, the Henley Army Cadets their Annual camp in Chickerell Weymouth. This was a Battalion wide event attended by Army Cadetsfrom all over Oxfordshire. The camp was an opportunity for Cadets push themselves out of their comfort zone in a new environment with their peers.

All the Cadets on camp undertook fieldcraft training at their respective levels. Unfortunately, due to the extremely hot and dry weather conditions, the Cadets were not able to blank fire on the usual GP rifles they use during their Fieldcraft exercises, however they were able to use paintball guns to aid their training.

The One Star training Cadets (mostly aged 13-14) focused on learning the basics of life in the field. Although they had been taught the skills they would need for camp, this was a chance for them to experience life in the field. Skills such as setting up a basha (a tarp-like tent that the Cadetssleep under) cooking in the field with 24 hour ration packs and general teamwork and communication that they will use for the rest of their time in the Cadet Force.

The Two Star training Cadets (mostly aged 14-15) already had some experience in the field from our fieldcraft training weekend back in May, so were introduced to weapons training in the field. They were given the responsibility of their rifles for the weekend and were shown how to clean and care for them. They were also introduced to section attacks and contact drills. These included consolidating teamwork skills and tactics used in the field.

The Three and Four Star Cadets (mostly aged 15-17) were introduced to leadership positions in the field as well as revising their fieldcraft knowledge and working together in intense situations to overcome enemy threat. They were introduced to model building (building a bird’s-eye-views map of an area in order to understand the ground around them in more detail) and giving a full set of orders in the field. They pushed themselves to their limits and did exceptionally well in the hot weather.

After the Cadets came out of the field, they had the opportunity to use the facilities at the famous Weymouth and Portland Sailing Academy. Here they engaged in many fun activities such as Stand-Up paddleboarding, Raft building, Kayaking, Rock climbing and more. Despite the continuing hot weather, the cadets made the most of the activities and all learned new skills at the Academy. 

Towards the end of Camp, an awards ceremony was conducted where Lt Mel Fearn (Henley’s very own Detachment commander) was awarded the silver bayonet, for the Best Detachment Commander in all of Oxfordshire. Cadet C Donaldson and Lance Corporal M Martin were also presented with awards. Congratulations to them all!

The Army Cadet Force is a national youth organisation sponsored and supported by the Ministry of Defence for 12 to 18-year olds; Army Cadets provides a challenging and varied syllabus based on military themes. Henley Army Cadet Force parade every Wednesday from 6:45-9pm at The Drill Hall on Friday Street and are currently looking for new Cadets and Adult Volunteers, feel free to come along and experience something new.

For Henley Detachment enquiries – please email the Detachment Commander, 2Lt Mel Fearn on 3360hayne@armymail.mod.uk