Exercise Snowman – 504 & 1360 Joint Squadron Christmas Camp 2013
Over the weekend of 6th to 8th December 2013, 504 (West Nottingham) Squadron and 1360 (Stapleford & Sandiacre) Squadron ventured out to Drum Hill Camp in Derbyshire for their Christmas Camp (Exercise Snowman).
The weekend programme was devised by Cadet Warrant Officer (CWO) Liam Osbiston (1360 Squadron), along with a team of Cadet Senior Non Commissioned Officers (SNCOs) from both Units. Cadets took part in various activities including swimming, low ropes and a Night Exercise, as well as the traditional Christmas Disco on the Saturday night.
Friday evening saw the Cadets arrive at the camp and being briefed on what to expect from the weekend by Flight Lieutenant Jodi Hudson (Camp Commandant) and CWO Liam Osbiston (Camp Training Officer). This was followed by a familiarisation exercise lead by Cadet Flight Sergeant (CFS) Sarah Yorke around Drum Hill and various team-building activities lead by CWO Abbie Jones designed to encourage the Cadets from both Units to get to know each other in readiness for the weekend ahead.
Saturday morning began with breakfast followed by the days brief. The cadets were then transported to the Water Meadows Swimming Centre in Mansfield for a morning session of fun with the wave machine and waterslides.
Saturday afternoon involved a Photo-Navigation Exercise lead by CWO Abbie Jones around the town centre of Mansfield. Each Flight was given a list of items to take a picture of, with each picture needing to include at least two members of the Flight. The list included a “photo with Santa”, the “most expensive piece of jewellery” and a “Flight selfie”.
The Saturday evening was action packed with a Night Exercise lead by CWO Osbiston, where the Flights had to find coloured stars from all over Drum Hill whilst evading the Hunter Force of SNCOs & staff. Once the exercise ended, the Cadets and staff brushed themselves down and got changed ready for the famous Christmas Camp Disco.
After breakfast on the Sunday, the Flights took part in Three Stand Exercises – Low Ropes Course (lead by CWO Abbie Jones), Rock Run (lead by CWO Liam Osbiston) and an Orienteering exercise (lead by CFS Sarah Yorke).
Food throughout the weekend was provided by Gaz & Joe’s Café, with the highlight being Christmas Dinner with all the trimmings on the Sunday. After the traditional festive feast, presentations were made in recognition of individual and Flight achievements during the camp.
The camp was a great success, with Cadets from both Units leaving with some fantastic memories of a truly fun weekend. Exercise Snowman required a considerable amount of hard work from the staff and SNCO team, who worked exceptionally well together and produced an excellent camp for all the Cadets attending.
Speaking at the end of the camp, Flt Lt Jodi Hudson, the Camp Commandant and Officer Commanding (OC) 504 Squadron said: “This has been a Christmas Camp that is up there with the best of the best, everyone who took part enjoyed themselves and have gone home with some fantastic memories. Both Flt Lt Gareth Fowler (OC 1360) and I are grateful to the staff and SNCO team who made the camp happen. In addition, we would like to highlight the work of CWO Liam Osbiston, who put together the programme and ensured everything ran smoothly”.
CI James Dodds
MCO – 504 (West Nottingham) Squadron