From the 7th to the 9th of December, many cadets from 1936 (Newton) Squadron attended the annual Christmas Camp. This year was different though: the whole camp was non-uniform and held at Calverton Scout Hall. Only a 30 minute drive from the Squadron building.
The camp started at 6:30pm prompt on the Friday. Moral was high as cadets arrived wearing various style Santa hats. Cdt Michael Lincoln arrived in a full Santa outfit to the laughter and enjoyment of both staff and cadets alike.
Once everyone had arrived, the camp brief was conducted by WO Haywood. The brief consisted of general safety rules, how the duty flight rota would work and finally the inter-flight competition. After the brief the flight commanders for the weekend were selected:
A Flight – Cpl Alice Martin
B Flight – Cpl Evangelina Ellison
C Flight – Cpl Matthew Ball
The first inter-flight activity was to go out into the surrounding fields, find a tree/bush, bring it back to the main hall and then finally decorate it.
Once the flight trees were judged, the flights were briefed on the challenge of having to create a nativity play involved the staff and a song which had to have something to do with the Squadron by Saturday evening. The flights had about an hour till bed to come up with some ideas for the play and song.
It wasn’t a too early start on the Saturday, breakfast started at 7:30pm. In my opinion it was quite nice, nothing like a full English breakfast in the morning.
Cadet finds tunnelling fun
The day’s activities were a 3 hour rotation on 3 different activities (an hour on each): Archery, Orienteering and Tunnelling. Like the day before, all 3 of these activities were inter-flight. A competitive mood was in the air as each of the flights tried to score as high as they could on the archery, finding as many points as possible on the Orienteering and escaping the pig pen tunnels in the quickest time possible on the Tunnelling.
Christmas is all the more fun with lots of people
Once these 3 activities had been completed by all 3 flights, the Camp Christmas dinner started. Every cadet was issued with a Camp T-shirt bearing the squadron crest and an embroidered picture on Santa in a plane.
The 3 flights were then given some time to do some final preparation for the nativity play and Squadron song. After some last minute practise the 3 flights were called back into the main hall to present. All 3 nativity plays were acted out with a lot of effort and humour. Let’s just say we have a potential Warrant Officer in our Cadet NCO ranks (Cpl Ball).
Once the plays had been acted out, the flights performed their songs: B and C flight did a ‘12 Days of Christmas’ style song while A flight did an ‘Epic Rap Battles of History’ type song.
Santa’s grotto, but why is Mr Phillips looking so glum, has he been naughty?
The secret Santa presents were then given out by Father Christmas himself! (CI Turner).
Everyone on camp then sat down for a movie, TED was selected in the end. Once the movie was over, the cadets had 45 minutes to prepare themselves for the night’s disco run by the Squadron’s own DJ Dodge (FS Tom Dodge).
On the 3rd day, the cadets played ‘Zombies’ on the surrounding fields while waiting for SAC Haywood to arrive to take the cadets through some leader-less exercises.
Once she arrived, the cadets did a large variety of activities ranging from creating letters on the floor using only the bodies of their flight to playing a game with playing cards resulting in cadets sitting on each other. All of these activities were inter-flight so the competitive mood was still in the air.
Once the activities with SAC Haywood had finished, the cadets went back onto the field to play ‘Zombies` some more on the field.
Unfortunately like all good things, they must end. The staff called the cadets inside for the Camp’s final Parade. Thanks were given to all the directing staff, certificates presented to every cadet who ‘survived` the camp and finally the results for the inter-flight competition.
After a few, very tense moments, the results for the Inter-flight competition were revealed as the following:
1st Place – B Flight
2nd Place – A Flight
3rd Place – C Flight
The camp was a great success with every cadet enjoying the activities and having a great time. I’m sure the camp will be remembered in people’s minds for many weeks to come. A huge thanks to all of the directing staff, the Camp couldn’t have been possible without them.
By Cpl Connor Levers
Media Team Leader
1936 (Newton) Squadron