CCF Self Reliance Expedition
40 Third Year recruits gave up the last weekend of half-term for a rigorous assessment of their skills in navigation, camp-craft and self-reliance. After revision, kit-packing and a theory test the recruits headed out onto the North Downs in groups of six, carrying all they needed (in some cases a good deal more) on their backs. Passing through a sequence of checkpoints at which they were quizzed on their map and compass work, the groups made good progress and reached their campsite for the night before sunset. Bashas were set up, a feast of nutritious fare from their military ration packs prepared and a game of campfire-lit cricket enjoyed before they retreated for a much needed sleep. As the next morning dawned bright and warm, the recruits were up and off, ignoring burning blisters and aching backs as they sallied forth once more towards Netherne. Fatigue was beginning to show in some groups, one contriving to get lost before they had left the campsite, another taking an inexplicable and ‘accidental’ diversion to an ice cream shop. But all told the recruits showed no little competence with the map and compass, and plenty of fortitude in baking heat, and all groups arrived back at Caterham within an hour of one another. Exhausted, blistered, sun-baked but satisfied, the recruits can be very proud of a strong showing in this stiff test of their cadetship.
Lt Mathew OwenBack to all news