Adventure Training forms an essential part of the Air Cadet's training syllabus. As well as helping cadets forge new friendships, adventure training enables all cadets to show off their leadership qualities.
There is a wide ranging Adventure Training syllabus in the ACO - depending on the squadron you attend, you could try your hand at water sports, skiing or climbing amongst others.
Nothing is compulsory - you choose the activities you are interested in. Below are some of the activities available.
Climbing can be a highly rewarding sport. It works well to exercise all parts of your body, by developing upper body strength through gripping, and encouraging muscular development in the legs through balancing. Its also great fun - many squadrons go on climbing trips regularly - a few even have their own climbing walls. All climbing is supervised by professionally qualified instructors (either staff members or employed from the outside.)
• Radio & Communications
Radio is one of the skills that is useful throughout your time in the ATC. During recruit training, you are taught the basic procedures that are to be used over the radio. For example, you have to learn the Phonetic Alphabet - Alpha, Bravo, Charlie etc. You are then allowed to have a go on the radio equipment we have, both base stations and handheld radios. The radios are also used extensively during adventure training and fieldcraft.
Pioneering involves the process of designing and constructing equipment for practical uses. This can range from a simple washstand for your bowl to a cantilever raising bridge across a river. Pioneering requires a familiarity with knots and lashings and their appropriate use. With the more ambitious projects teamwork and forward planning will be welcome additions to the pioneers skill set. Using your skills to construct a bridge across a lake can serve both the enjoyment and practical sides in one go. You certainly learn how to tie your lashings properly once you have walked over a bridge and have it collapse under you!
Fieldcraft is an exciting part of any squadron's training programme, and the promise of a good exercise is always guaranteed to get good attendance.
• Annual Camp
Every year, cadets are given the opportunity to attend a camp on an operational RAF station. These camps last one week (normally Saturday to Saturday or Wednesday to Wednesday) with the primary purpose of letting cadets see what life is like on an RAF camp. It is also an excellent opportunity to meet new friends and have a lot of fun.
On arriving at Air Cadet camp, the cadets will be split into two or more flights.
You will sleep in RAF accommodation blocks, eat at the airman's mess and visit the various sections around the station (such as squadrons, the control tower etc.), as well as take part in sports, orienteering and night exercises, quizzes, aircraft recognition competitions and any social activities which may be available.
There will be drill, uniform and room inspections but these, along with all the other activities, earn points for you as an individual and for your flight as a whole.
Each cadet at camp will normally get a flight in one of the Air Experience Flight's Bulldog or Tutor aircraft and being on an RAF station puts cadets in a perfect position to get opportunity flights on any other aircraft which may have a few spare seats.
Cadets over 16 years of age may receive a Work Experience placement whilst on the camp where they see first-hand exactly what a job within the Royal Air Force entails.
Each RAF Station has an Air Cadet Liaison Officer (ACLO) who will help to ensure that the camp runs smoothly and that as many opportunities are available to cadets as possible.