CCF Summer Camp at Warcorp, Cumbria – Jacob Foster
CCF Summer Camp at Warcorp, Cumbria
by Jacob Foster
On Saturday 4th July, Merchant Taylors’ CCF cadets were waved off by family and friends as we embarked on what would be an eagerly anticipated and unforgettable summer camp. Arriving promptly at Warcop training area in Cumbria, the staff greeted us as we pulled into the car park. We wasted no time at all getting into our routine and were allocated billets. This would be my third camp with the cadet force, and understandably, I had high expectations!
We had fewer than seven days in which to cram a whole host of various activities, so we were hard at work from the moment we arrived. Reveille was at 0600 and training usually ended at 2030 each day. We were therefore grateful to spend a relaxing two hours of the evening and a welldeserved “lights out” at 2230 hours. The 16-bed dormitories we stayed in would be seeing only slight use as there was a full programme ahead of us. It was also mandatory to work together to keep the rooms and our appearance impeccable for fear of falling victim to one of RSM Brett’s regular and tediously thorough inspections.
I found the “call of duty” exercise very fun. This involved learning how to ambush a building by working in pairs as part of a larger team. It was a means of combat new to us all, and firing blanks in the close confines of each room was thrilling. The procedure combined stealth along with fire and manoeuvre drills to quickly and efficiently clear each room of a disused building in a target time of 90 seconds.
Another enjoyable aspect of camp was “jungle lane”. Advancing along a stream, we had the opportunity to fire blank ammunition at electronic targets to simulate enemy positions. This taught me how to communicate more effectively with younger cadets. By the end of the day, everyone’s confidence had grown and notable individual and team performances were achieved. This experience, I found, took me out of my comfort zone and for the first time, gave me a sense of responsibility for a team. The main military event of the week was “Warcop Wanderer.” This was a platoon attack simulation in which the morning was spent rehearsing the skills for the afternoon’s exhilarating battle exercise. After a quick wash to remove the cam cream, we were in for a treat with some great food in the mess hall.
It was exciting to shoot on the electronic simulator known as the DCCT and receive coaching on how to improve my shot. This was in preparation for live firing on the 30m range the next day. I found it interesting to learn precise shooting from those who had a wealth of knowledge. As a result, I could improve my shot and two months later go on to join the shooting team and participate in the CSAAM shooting competition at Altcar.
Our overall morale was exceptional. One particular teambuilding activity comes to mind when thinking of how morale positively affected our decisionmaking and performance. As part of our First Aid course, we partook in an enticing patient simulation exercise where we had to split our team of six to offer care to respective patients. This taught us to work under pressure and to think on the spot, as well as gaining in-depth First Aid knowledge. The highlight of my week, however, must be receiving the award of “Best Cadet” and Lance Corporal rank after our school drill competition between the three appointed sections.
I can’t lie, army camp can be daunting at first, but we were soon welcomed into a new lifestyle. I can honestly say that the friendships I made at Warcop will stay with me for a very long time. It consistently proves a tough but rewarding week and this year was no exception, having been given the opportunity to participate in some things I had never tried before. One example was rock climbing and cliff jumping into the idyllic Ullswater as part of Adventurous Training. The seven days we spent in the Lakes will make an impact on the rest of my year by encouraging my teamwork, knowledge, confidence and initiative. You may even find me ironing my clothes once in a while! As for my week… how could I possibly wish for anything more?
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