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Reserve Forces & Cadets Association
Northern Ireland



12 October 2014

With the end of the school holidays fast approaching most teenagers have had many lazy days lying around the house. However this was not so for over 350 young people from 1st (NI) Battalion Army cadet Force who had signed up for something that bit different which was packed full of “Fun, Action, Adventure and the chance to meet new Friends”.   Their 2 week summer adventure holiday took place at Otterburn army training camp near Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

At around 7am the cadets arrived at Otterburn Camp, tired and ready for a full English breakfast.  After their full English: everyone had the chance to get to bed for a few hours before they had to get dressed into their uniform and start the camp.

The whole battalion gathered on the parade square where the Cadet Commandant, Colonel David Kane welcomed them all to Otterburn and wished them a good and enjoyable camp. During the parade the Cadet Commandant made a special presentation of a Master Cadet Certificate to Cadet Company Sergeant Major Heather McKinley (17) from Drumahoe and a pupil of Lisneal College. This is one of the highest achievements a cadet can gain.

The cadets were then split into different training companies depending on what stage of training they had reached. The younger cadets who were attending their first camp joined the 1 star training companies which were titled “Talavera and Barossa. Next the cadets who were in their second year joined “Waterloo and Mons Companies. Lastly the more senior cadets going for 3 star joined “Namur Company” and they would do much more advanced training than the other companies.

There were two other types of cadets at camp and they were the Senior Cadets who had already passed 3 star and were now about to take part in the “Senior Cadet Instructors Cadre” (SCIC) where they would be taught how to teach by members of 38 (Irish) Brigade Cadet Training Team so that they can go on and teach the younger cadets in their detachments at home. There were also those who had already completed the SCIC and were now Cadet Instructors. They assist the adult staff to teach the 1 and 2 Star cadets.

During the camp, the cadets took part in such activities as fieldcraft, which provided the opportunity to camp out for 48 hours “playing soldiers” - building a shelter, cooking their own food with a 24 hour operational ration pack and carrying out patrols. Other activities included target shooting, first aid, navigation training and expedition training.

The cadets also took part in an adventure training package held at Hawkhirst Scout Activity Centre, Kielder Water, which included kayaking, a zip line from a very high tower, archery and building a raft from planks rope and some barrels and then 6 cadets paddled it across the marina and lift it out of the water. The adventure training was a time for the cadets and adults to relax and enjoy some of the best scenery you will find in the North of England.

The senior cadets were invited to a formal regimental dinner hosted by Cadet RSM Watson who was accompanied to the dinner by the Honorary Colonel Mrs Joan Christie who is also HM Lord Lieutenant of County Antrim and the Cadet Commandant along with other guests, senior officers and adult instructors.

The cadets went home with many stories and new friends to tell their family about and are now looking forward to a tough, exciting and rewarding training year with many hoping to gain promotion and more qualifications.