CCF Self Reliance Expedition
40 Third Year recruits met at School on the last Saturday of the half-term break to prepare for their Self-Reliance Expedition: a 16-mile yomp which tests their self-sufficiency, navigation and camp-craft. The morning was spent prepping route cards and revising map and compass skills until, just before lunchtime, the first groups to begin were away. Remarkably the order in which the groups set out was radically changed by the time they reached the first checkpoint, with diversions being blamed on ‘navigational difficulties’. At each checkpoint cadets were tested on their map and compass skills by staff, some of them even able to pin-point their positions on a map to within 20 square miles. The glorious summer weather made for beautiful views and dripping sweat as all the groups (eventually) found their way to their campsite for the evening.
After a balmy night under a canvass sheet another brilliant dawn broke and in fine spirits they were off again, tramping through fields and woods. Despite packs laden with e-numbers, limited sleep, aggressive blisters and in some cases woeful navigation, the recruits fared very well on this demanding exercise, showing grit, teamwork and stamina. If the lustre of Recr Masters’ patriotic songs dwindled as the weekend wore on, if Recr Fordyce led her group through an exhausting re-enactment of the Grand Old Duke of York, or if Recr Patel ultimately lost his battle with Triffidesque nettles, it was all part of the expedition’s richness and proved how resourceful and hardy these young cadets could be.Back to all news