CCF Adventure Training Camp
The snow was starting to fall on the Saturday of half-term as 45 members of the CCF bussed out to Gloucestershire for Ex ‘Wye Wanderer’. Based at Cinderford in the heart of the Forest of Dean, the programme began with climbing and abseiling on the limestone faces of the famous Symonds Yat. A variety of climbs tested the strength and agility of even the nimblest cadets, before a stern trial of courage in the form of an 80-foot abseil off the rock into the beautiful Wye Valley below. Some came charging down in flurry of arms and legs; some (Recr Rohan Patel) tested the durability of the ancient cliff and of their helmets with a few unusual moves; some (Recrs Jack Lloyd and William Rose) overcame a nasty bout of queasy colon, conquering their fear in admirable fashion.
An evening at the bowling alley allowed the initially-confident Recr Haynes to be schooled in the art by his seniors, while LCpl Palmer led our outreach programme and charmed some of the locals. Then to Sunday: muddy, wildly fast and exhilarating mountain biking at Coleford during which most cadets clung on, but Recr Blain spent more time off than John Wayne’s safety catch; and a therapeutic dip in a torrenting river.
Despite the snow falling over the south-Welsh hills, cadets donned warming wetsuits, and waded, scrambled and floundered their way upstream, climbing a waterfall and making their way in pitch-black through a subterranean tunnel. Conditions could scarcely have been more difficult, and it is a credit to the hardiness of the cadets that all made the thrilling but blood-freezing course undaunted.
Our final day, already brightened by the previous night spent watching England’s victory in the rugby, dawned with a strange yellow sphere overhead. In fear of this celestial oddity, we went underground, abseiling down the cliff-face, crawling deep into Symonds Yat’s ancient caves, avoiding flocks of bats and exploring a rarely-seen world.
And so the exercise came to an end, one which had seen cadets from five year-groups meet the great challenges of weather, face up to some demanding training, and prevail with a positivity and esprit de corps which left our instructors in genuine awe. (Remember to follow the Unit on Twitter @CaterhamCCF)Back to all news