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Over the summer holiday the St John’s Combined Cadet Force spent an action-packed five days on a summer camp on the Isle of Wight. A total of 60 pupils, almost 10% of the School’s roll, from all three sections of the CCF (Army, Royal Air Force and Royal Navy) attended the camp.
Those who had enrolled were kept busy from the moment they arrived. All groups took part in a carousel of activities that included archery, orienteering, survival skills, mountain biking, kayaking and dinghy sailing. There was also a session on the 100m firing range using SA80 A2 rifles. Before returning home they took part in a Splash Day organised by the UKSA, with a varied programme that finished with teams building their own rafts and negotiating a water course in the shortest possible time.
Throughout the five days the pupils involved had to face a number of challenges. One of the hardest was the clean-up on the last day, where on their third attempt the cadets managed to get close to Army standards. Another was the military skills competition on the penultimate day, hotly contested by the groups and requiring the cadets to demonstrate the full repertoire of what they had learned both at school and on camp. This activity was also indicative of the competitive element to the camp. Already on the first day, as another example, two groups at a time went to Headhunter Laser Combat where they waged war on each other. And, on the penultimate evening, the Army section set an ambush for some very willing Royal Air Force and Royal Navy cadets.
When the participants returned home at the end of the week to enjoy the remainder of the summer holidays, their parents were greeted by an altogether more mature and self-assured pupil.
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