Camps get you out and about and give RAF Cadets a taste of what RAF personnel experience. They’re also some of the most enjoyable and memorable things you’ll do. The RAF Cadet Camp is usually based around adventurous activities (especially fieldcraft), where cadets can take control of their new abilities and put them to the test.
There will activities that offer challenge, excitement and adventure together with structured lectures and first-hand experience.
Firstly, there are weekend camps, run by your squadron. These allow time for more intensive training than during the regular meetings but can fit into a weekend and not interfere with school holidays. During the weekend there will be activities like orienteering, over-night exercises or other specialised training.
Annual RAF Cadet Camp
Every year, RAF Cadets are given the opportunity to attend a camp on an operational RAF station. These camps last a week (normally Saturday to Saturday or Wednesday to Wednesday) with the purpose of getting cadets even closer to Service life.
Cadets sleep in RAF accommodation blocks, eat at the airmen’s mess and visit the various sections around the station. There is the chance to meet the base personnel, as well as take part in sports, quizzes, aircraft recognition competitions and any social activities which may be available.
There will be drill, uniform and room inspections, and everything will earn points for individuals and for their team. Cadets over 16 may receive a work experience placement whilst on the camp where they see first-hand exactly what a job within the Royal Air Force involves.
Typical activities on an annual camp include:
- Air Experience Flying
- Leadership and command tasks
- Fieldcraft training and exercises
- Drill and ceremonial training
- Section visits around the station to key functional areas such as Air Traffic Control
- Social activities such as bowling, go-karting and parties as well as visits to local attractions
Each RAF station has an Air Cadet Liaison Officer (ACLO) who will ensure that the camp runs smoothly and that you get support and as many opportunities to do things as possible.
A UK annual camp will typically cost in the region of £50-60 for the entire week including transport, accommodation, and food.
As well as camping expeditions, the Air Cadets have two national centres, at Windermere in the Lake District and Llanbedr in coastal Wales, both with stunning scenery. Rock climbing, abseiling, high-level hill walking, mountain-biking, canoeing, high rope work and sailing are all part of the course.
Gliding. There are fantastic opportunities to glide while you are a cadet, with the goal being a solo flight. Training is in three stages: a Gliding Induction Course (GIC), Gliding Scholarship (GS) and Advanced Gliding Training (AGT).
Air Experience Flights. Feel the thrill of powered flight, with a fully qualified pilot to guide you through taking control of the aircraft yourself. Not only will you have the opportunity to learn about the flying controls, but you will experience aerobatics and low level flying as well.
Air Cadet Pilot Scheme – Cadets will learn to fly a light aircraft solo. Complete this successfully and be awarded your cadet pilot wings. And if you do exceptionally well you could be recommended for further training which will help towards your Private Pilot’s Licence.
Air Cadet Pilot Navigation Training Scheme – A great opportunity to use your navigation skills, this two-week course where you fly for up to eight hours is open to selected cadets.
Once cadets have attended an annual camp, proven their leadership skills and have reached the age of 15, there is the opportunity for an overseas camp at RAF stations in Gibraltar, Cyprus or Germany.
These camps are more relaxed and there is less focus on drill and inspections and more on the other aspects of camp, such as work experience with RAF personnel and looking around local towns.
There is the opportunity to spend 10 days in Cyprus swimming, sailing, and maybe even see the Red Arrows practice their displays. Or head to Germany where as well as the usual section visits and activities you’ll visit a city or cemetery from the First and Second World Wars.
Demand for the limited overseas camp places is high and cadets that apply to go are put through a competitive interview process and the Wing Commander decides which lucky cadets will attend the overseas camp opportunities.
Kit Required for Cadet Camp
When it is time to go to your first cadet camp then you must be prepared with the right kit. The Supply Drop Cadet Package is the perfect starter-pack for someone who is joining the Cadet Forces. Containing big name brands such as; Kombat, Kiwi and Rite in Rain to ensure top quality and long-lasting durability. This pack is suitable for individuals joining the Air, Sea and Army Cadets.