Mountain biking its valleys, scrambling its river gorges, traversing its cliffs, and kayaking on its lakes – an adrenaline-charged programme of activities gave cadets from Christ’s Hospital full opportunity to explore the natural beauty of the Lake District during their annual Summer Camp.
Leadership, self-confidence and determination were all tested in a demanding week of action and adventure organised by the British Army.
Tyrolean traversing, gorge scrambling and fell hiking were amongst an exhilarating range of adventure training and outward bound activities offered to cadets.
Many also enjoyed the chance to get wet and escape the baking temperatures with kayaking, raft building and power boating lessons provided by the Royal Engineers.
The cadets’ military skills were also tested with two days of challenging battle exercises using blank ammunition and pyrotechnics.
The tough tactical scenarios confirmed the cadets’ ability to perform under pressure and work as a team.
They included clearing three enemy positions in an exhausting assault across mountainous terrain, and the establishment and execution of a platoon-level ambush. Cadets were also taught tactics for clearing buildings and operating in built-up areas.
Other activities enjoyed by the cadets included rifle shooting, first aid and the completion of a gruelling army assault course.
The week’s training applied many of the skills the cadets developed during an intensive year of training on the School’s 1,200 acre site near Horsham.
Thirty cadets from Christ’s Hospital, aged between 14 and 18 years, attended the camp.
A number of awards were presented to senior cadets, who took responsibility for the leadership of younger students throughout the week.
The prize for Best Cadet was won by Cadet Under-Officer Alistair Wilson, while the Contingent Commander’s Prize was presented to Cadet Corporal Cynthia Smith.
“The action, pace and challenge of Army Camp develops many skills that it would be impossible to teach in a classroom”, says Captain Peter Andersen, who heads the School’s Army Section.
“Many are apprehensive doing such challenging activities for the first time, but they soon develop the confidence to throw themselves in.
“You can see how the cadets develop and mature over the course of the week. This is one of the reasons why co-curricular activities like the cadet force are such important part of life at Christ’s Hospital”.
The Combined Cadet Force is available to students in Year 10 (UF) and above at Christ’s Hospital. Nearly 200 cadets are members of the Royal Navy, Army and Royal Air Force sections.
It is one of a wide range of co-curricular activities provided for students at the Horsham-based school.
Report and picture contributed by Christ’s Hospital.