This week, half of the Cadets attended Initial Expedition Training at the Farm on the Hill Campsite near Uttoxeter in Staffordshire.
On arrival, the Cadets were instructed on how to assemble their tents which they then proceeded to carry out. Once completed, they were then introduced to the delights of the British Forces ration pack. Though initially cautious, the Cadets soon discovered the many delights hidden within. Next, they learnt to assemble and light their Trangia Cookers. Armed with all this new knowledge, they then proceeded to cook their own tea. Parents and carers take note: the kitchen at home may never be a sanctuary again.
After tea, the staff lit a small campfire (eventually) and the rest of the evening was spent with activities focussed on communication and fun.
By 2100 hrs (9 pm), the cadets were settled into their tents and given time ‘to investigate the inside of their sleeping bags’ for the rest of the night. 0400 saw some intrepid Cadets awake and chatting. By 0515 most were awake. At 0600, the designated reveille time, all Cadets were awake. By 0630, all had breakfast on the go. Parents and carers: please do remind your children of this if you need them to get up early sometime!
After breakfast, the Cadets packed up their equipment before making the short journey to the pickup point. Once back at school they put the equipment away and prepared for going back into lessons. When asked, pupils said the bad points included the camp toilet (it is an eco-campsite), cold and hard ground. On the plus side they loved the camp fire and the food. Military rations have never received so much praise before. This week sees the second group depart and the Cadets will write their own version of events for the activity next week.