While the rest of the population were struggling at the shops with their Christmas shopping, members of the 1211 (Swadlincote) Squadron Air Cadets were developing their leadership and initiative skills at a weekend camp on the Drum Hill Camp Site near Derby.
Thirty Cadets and staff took part in a variety of exercises developed to test their stamina and teamwork as their parents took the opportunity to struggle against the crowd in various shopping centres throughout the Midlands, although it is unsure which group were being tested more!
The youngsters of the South Derbyshire Cadets braved the cold weather as they undertook the tasks intended to test their endurance, ranging from personal cooking as they tried to imitate Jamie Oliver which made their upcoming Christmas lunch seem even more tempting, through to survival exercises which were a cross between Bear Grylls and ‘I’m a Celebrity’!
Flight Lieutenant Rob Moore, the Squadrons Operations Officer told us, “We are hoping to develop their personal skills which will be of use to them as they mature into adulthood, no matter whether they take up a career in the military or civilian life.”
Sergeant Matthew Leedham the weekends Training Officer added that one of the main purposes is for the Cadets to learn a new set of team skills, but above all to have fun!”
As the year draws to a close, the 1211 Squadron can look back on a year full of activity, with their Cadets travelling overseas, several gaining Gliding Wings, many of them achieving B-TEC qualifications and some winning Duke of Edinburgh’s Awards.
The final word went to Cadet Ashley Lancaster, who told us, “We have had a smashing time and learnt an awful lot. We just didn’t want the weekend to end it was super. Christmas can wait.”
Civilian Instructor – 1211 (Swadlinote) Squadron ATC