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Cadet Summer Camp

Published by St James Senior Boys' School on Friday 15th of September 2023

Forty-five cadets and staff from St James Senior Boys’ School CCF attended the CCF Annual Camp at Dartmoor on the week of Saturday 8th to Sunday 16th July. They enjoyed a week of training activities and visits. Two staff members travelled down to Dartmoor the day before to take over accommodation and training facilities and prepare for the arrival of the main party.


We had initially booked bunkhouse accommodation at Okehampton Training Camp in Devon but a last-minute requirement for the camp to be used for the training of overseas troops meant that it would no longer be possible to accommodate us at the camp. We were instead offered accommodation on a former small farm complex now owned by the MOD which is on the western edge of Dartmoor.


Before heading off on camp we issued equipment to cadets and loaded stores and personal bags. Almost inevitably, we were delayed by roadworks and the volume of traffic on motorways and our journey took over five hours to complete. The farm complex itself is only accessible along several miles of narrow and twisty country roads and it could not be accessed by coach. Challenge number one; This meant that cadets and staff had to be dropped off at a rural car park and then walked across country for about two miles carrying their Bergen rucksacks before finally arriving at the farm. The remainder of the first day was spent organising accommodation, settling in and briefing cadets on the various activities which were planned.


The cadets were organised into three sections with cadets in all year groups in each section. Older cadets were given leadership roles and responsibilities within the groups for the duration of the camp.


The activities for the week included;



  • A three-day, two-night exercise on Dartmoor;

  • A two-day, a one-night navigation expedition on Dartmoor, with way points at High Willhays and Yes Tor which are the two highest points on Dartmoor;

  • A day of adventurous training activities which included mountain biking, gorge scrambling, and abseiling from a railway viaduct;

  • A visit to the Royal Citadel in Plymouth - a late 17th century fortress which had been built by King Charles II to protect the naval boatyard and the town of Plymouth. It is still in use today as the headquarters of 42 Commando, Royal Marines.


In addition, cadets were able to enjoy an afternoon of free time in Plymouth town centre.


The weather was not on our side – according to local farmers the weather was unseasonably wet - it rained every day, often heavily, but good humour got us through.


On the last evening of camp, a BBQ was organised with staff prepping and cooking. The food was very well received and the evening rounded off with a karaoke singsong, which was loud, raucous, and occasionally tuneful.


For the six Year 13 cadets at camp this was their final exercise. Having completed their A-Level exams in June they were already looking forward to moving on to University. Individually, and as a group, they were a credit to the school and the CCF.


At the end of the camp, when we returned to school on Sunday 16th July, a number of cadet promotions were made. Congratulations to Sgt Harry S, Cpl Edward H, Cpl Luis C, Cpl Luigi D, Cpl W, and L/Cpl Chen G.


Mr Paul


 

Cadet Summer Camp - Photo 1
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