Arborfield ACF Company Sergeant Major Holly Chamberlain took on the role of volunteer casualty as teams taking part in the Frost Trophy and Nowell Cup were tested on their first aid skills. Holly has recently completed a Public Services Course at Reading College and is starting training with Thames Valley Police.
Last year Holly was chosen to be one of four Lord-Lieutenant’s Cadet for 2016. Cadets support the Lord-Lieutenant for Berkshire in his work during their year of office, accompanying him to royal visits, awards ceremonies, and similar official events. Holly said “Being the Lord Lieutenant’s Cadet has been really interesting. I have met the Queen, Prince Philip and Prince Edward and have attended a lot of different events.”
Royal Marines Cadet 2 Katie Kremer from Reading, took a ducking while taking part in the water challenge but once back on dry land she helped her team to complete the task in the fastest time of the day.
Royal Marines Cadet Sergeant MC1 Caitlin Lobley started her cadet life as a sea cadet but transferred as she felt the Royal Marines were more “outdoorsy.” A year 11 pupil at Hugh Faringdon School, Southcote, Reading, Caitlin hopes to study medicine and to join the Navy as a medic. Caitlin said “I would recommend cadets as a way of making friend for life and experiencing things a bit different from normal life.”
Cadet Jordan Graham gives the climbing wall the thumbs up. Jordan has been with the Arborfield Detachment for two years. He is following in the footsteps of his brother who is the Regimental Sergeant Major. Jordan’s favourite activity is first aid.
On behalf of the winning team, Army Cadet Sergeant Monja Danischewsky received the Frost Trophy from Wing Commander Chris Fisher. Monja, who is based with the Cippenham Detachment, has been a cadet for five years and hopes to join the Household Cavalry once he has completed his A Levels.
The winners of the Frost Trophy celebrate their success! The team included Berkshire Army Cadets from the Witley, Woodley, Cippenham and Arborfield Detachments.
On behalf of his fellow team members, Ordinary Sea Cadet Peter Talbot accepted the Nowell Cup from Colonel Chris Booth. Peter said “Today has been great fun, although we didn’t know each other at the beginning of the day we have really come together as a team. It is really interesting to meet-up with cadets from the other Services as we all do things differently and can learn from each other.”
Army Cadet Wiktor Konecki, Cippenham Detachment, has been a cadet for three years and plans to join the Army as a member of the Infantry. Wiktor said “Being a cadet is a great confidence builder and a great way of making friends. I found out about the ACF by watching videos on YouTube, I decided to give it a go and have enjoyed every minute.”
Sea Cadet William De Guzman hopes that his experiences as a cadet will help him in his ambition to become a Marine. William is based with the Slough Unit and has been a cadet for almost a year. William said “Being a cadet has given me new experiences and is helping me to prepare for a military career. We have to think outside the box and interact with new people. Annual camp gave us a chance to take part in lots of activities including field craft, camping, and clay pigeon shooting.”
Hayley Milward, Whitley Detachment, joined the ACF at the beginning of 2016 and said “Being a cadet has really helped with my confidence and we get to do lots of different things. I really enjoy sports and have had the chance to take part in regional and national athletics events. I went on annual camp to Thetford and really enjoyed the clay pigeon shooting.”
Reading based Royal Marines Cadet Class 2 Finlay Allen was one of several senior cadets providing support to the teams taking part in the Frost Trophy and Nowell Cup. Finlay originally joined the ACF but moved to the Royal Marines because he felt there were more opportunities to experience field craft, something he really enjoys.
Finlay is currently studying for qualifications in Travel and Tourism, and Resistant Materials. He plans to spend time in the USA working for Camp America and travelling before returning to the UK to train as an officer with the Marines.
Sea Cadet Kelsy Merritt joined the Slough Unit almost a year ago. Kelsy who lives in Langley and attends Churchmead School, Datchet said “Being a Sea Cadet is great fun. There are lots of opportunities to try new things. We regularly go to Datchet Reservoir for boating activities including sailing and rowing.”
Army Cadet Jade Bartlett, from the Aborfield Detachment, was taking part in the Frost Trophy for the second time. Jade, who is starting a Health and Social Course at Basingstoke College, has been a cadet for two years said “Taking part in events like this is great fun. It is great to meet different cadets and to take on the challenges.”
Lance Corporal Kayci Benham and Cadet Andrew Boldoro are not only both members of Witley Detachment, but they are both Year 10 pupils at the local John Madejski Academy. They were teamed up with other Army Cadets as one of the Single Service teams competing for the Frost Trophy, working together on a series of activities including putting their first aid skills to the test.
2nd Lieutenant Wayne Thrussell is a former cadet and has been an instructor for 18 years specialising in water sports training. He is also the 2nd In Command of Nivelle Company based in Abingdon.
Wayne, whose day job is a sales trainer said “The kids are sometimes apprehensive about the water based activities and it is great to see their confidence grow once they get on the water and start to build their skills. As a former a cadet I feel it is important to give something back.”
Being on Annual Camp gave Cadet Tom Norton the opportunity to try archery. Tom who is with the Kidlington Detachment said “I would like to join the Army and I think that being a cadet will give me a headstart. I have only been a cadet for 4 months but I am really enjoying it, the range of activities and the chance to do things you don’t do in normal life.”
Lance Corporal Millie Warwick parades with the Witney Detachment said “I love the environment of camp and especially the shooting and fieldcraft. I think being a cadet is a great opportunity to develop yourself, have fun with friends, we learn to be independent and capable of doing things for yourself.”
Seeing an advert for the ACF led Lance Corporal Kate Harris to join the Abingdon Detachment almost 2 years ago. She hopes to join the Army as a geographic technician but at the moment she says “Cadets is great fun, I have become more confident and made lots of friends.”
A member of Shrivenham Detachment, Lance Corporal Mairi Balmer has been a cadet for almost 3 years. She said “My twin is a member of the Air Training Corps but I couldn’t join due to my fear of heights. I think the ACF offers more than the other cadet forces, activities are so varied. Our Detachment Commander is so experienced and really keeps us motivated as well as making sure that we have fun. Being a cadet is a genuinely a good thing to do.”
Cadets from the Corunna Band and Bugles came together at Annual Camp to practise their musical skills, culminating with playing in the Officers Mess during a formal dinner. Lieutenant Kaz Raffael, Director of Music said “The Commandant invited us to come along to Swynerton and to spend a week together on a music camp. We rarely have the opportunity to spend so much time together and the benefits are immeasurable. It is great to see how much progress the cadets have made including learning a number of new pieces.”
For Lance Corporal George Walkui the ACF has been a great way of developing his musical skills. George plays the trombone, bugle and percussion, and has been a cadet for 3 years. He said “I joined the ACF because of the opportunities to improve my playing. I am a member of the Band and also of Wallingford Detachment. We have some great opportunities to play at events including at a Sandhurst family open day. It is great for us to be able to spend so much time together just playing.”
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Cadet Amy Ringshaw, 14, is a pupil at Charters School and has been a cadet with Chobham Detachment ACF for almost two years. She said “I saw people in uniform at school on Remembrance Day and wondered what it would be like to be part of the ACF and so I went along to find out and here I am … “ She continued “This Annual Camp is really good fun, especially as we don’t have to do PT at 6.30am every morning this time! I’ve enjoyed the Detachment and Company Days very much where we’ve been to Weymouth and done the cliff jumping and coasteering.” Amy is having a lot of fun as an Army Cadet, she said “I think I’m more confident in speaking to people and I’ve got a lot more discipline and my values have changed too. I really enjoy the social element and the fact that as a detachment we get to do so many different things”.
Cadet Matthw Ringshaw, 15, is a pupil at Silesian College in Farnborough and has been a cadet with Chobham Detachment for a year and ten months. He said “I thought it would be fun to join the ACF and I love it, it’s been great. I’ve met loads of new people and done some great activities. The Company Days have been the best part of this Annual Camp as it’s so good spending time with your friends.” He added “Since I’ve been with the ACF I’ve grown more confident. I work better in a team and am able to take charge of more situations.”
Corporal Marco Toledo, 17, is a cadet with Chobham Detachment ACF. He said “I joined the ACF five years ago because I wanted to do something positive and pro-active with my time. I needed more discipline and I was very shy and couldn’t talk to people. That’s all changed now. I’ve got a lot more confidence to communicate and every Annual Camp I come along to, I make a new friend.” Marco who is going to Guildford College in September to study media has enjoyed this year’s annual camp. He added “It’s very well organised and the fitness regime that we’ve got as senior cadets has been been really hard but very good for me. I’m been running every day and it’s been good for my personal admin and discipline.” For Marco, the highlights of his five years with the ACF have included his promotion to Lance Corporal; the responsibility made him want to inspire the younger cadets and he has enjoyed being on parade and representing the ACF which has filled him with immense pride.
Cadet Ethan Dye, 12, is a cadet with Mytchett Detachment ACF and this has been his first Annual Camp having only joined 8 months ago. A pupil at Ash Manor School, he wanted something else to do and finds that he has a real passion for shooting. On Annual Camp he particularly enjoyed shooting the scorpion air rifle. Ethan was one of a group of cadets who climbed the cliffs at West Weares on the Isle of Portland. He said “It was very steep and I didn’t dare look down. At first I wanted to stop but then I just got on with it. I’m scared of heights so I’m really proud of my achievement. At least I don’t feel sick any longer!”
Cadet Owen Gibson, 13, is a pupil at Ash Manor School and has been a cadet with Mytchett Detachment ACF for a year. He said “My Dad, who is a major with 5RIFLES in the Army, suggested I join the ACF and so here I am. This is my first Annual Camp and it’s really good fun. Better than I thought. It’s hard work but in a fun way. I didn’t like the caving and tunnelling that much but I did it – I overcame my fear and I’m quite proud of myself for that.”
Cadet Sergeant Major Sophie Verrinder, 18, is a student at Alton College and has been a member of Mytchett Detachment ACF for almost six years. Heading off to Portsmouth University in September to study Law with International Relations, this is her final Annual Camp as a Cadet. She said “I’ve got so much out of being a cadet. So many friends, so much confidence, life skills and shared experiences that I wouldn’t have got if I’d been on my own rather than with a team of people. I was lucky enough to go on the exchange to Australia last year and also took part in the Njmegen Marches. In the ACF it’s a real community and there’s a lot of peer support. I’d definitely like to come back as an Adult Instructor.”
Cadet Alice Saker, 15, is a pupil at Winston Churchill School and has been a member of Woking Detachment ACF for just over one year. She said “I joined with friends but they’ve actually all left and I’ve stayed. I like to see the way I’ve improved. I’m normally quite girly but it’s fun to do stuff that is more outdoorsy like the shooting.” She added “The coasteering was very scary but I have a real sense of achievement for having done it and the sea kayaking was fun but we kept capsizing”.
Cadet Chloe Greaves, 13, is a pupil at Charters School in Sunningdale and has been a member of Chobham Detachment ACF for seven months. She said “I joined the ACF as I thought it’d be a good and new experience and this is my first Annual Camp. I have never swum in the sea before because I’m scared of the water but we went coasteering and I actually jumped off the rocks. I’d definitely do it again and I’m not so scared of swimming in the sea now.” She added “I’m making lots of new friends and I’m enjoying camp far too much to even call home – it’s really fun!”
Adult Under Officer Mike Curtis, 23, is the Commander of Woking Detachment Surrey ACF. A former cadet he has spent the past four years volunteering as an instructor. Mike is in the middle of a gap year having graduated from Surrey University in November 2015 with a BA Hons in Business Management. He said “I did so much as a cadet including travelling to Lesotho in South Africa for Cadet 150, two scuba diving trips to Egypt, and trips to Cyprus and France, I really wanted to give something back.” He added “I get a lot of real satisfaction in seeing the cadets progress and there’s fun and a good social scene amongst the staff and other volunteers. The support and experiences I have had from the ACF have played such a key part in my life and I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to get my degree without my ACF skills and qualifications.
Staff Instructor Natasha Chessman, 26 is an Adult Volunteer at Woking Detachment. A former cadet herself, Natasha joined the ACF as an adult eighteen months ago. She said “Once my daughter was of an age where I could go back to work, I got a part-time job as a pre-school assistant and then thought I’d like to volunteer as well and so came back to the ACF. We’ve got a very strong Company doing a lot of fundraising and other very rewarding things and there are lots of opportunities for me to develop my own skills and qualifications. I would like to do a Skill at Arms Course and also become an Official Assessor on First Aid courses as well as a Mountain Leader’s Course.”
Cadet Chloe Alma-Daykin, 16, has been an ACF Cadet for just over a year at Chobham Detachment. Hoping to go to Farnborough College, Chloe joined the ACF because she wanted to test herself and push herself out of her comfort zone, as well as wanting to meet and make new friends. She said “This is my first Annual Camp and it’s more fun than I expected. I was really scared doing the coasteering but so proud of myself for doing it and the sea kayaking was really fun. I learnt that if I put my head in the right zone I can do it”. For Chloe, Fieldcraft is her favourite activity and she likes the fact that she has a whole new community of friends who aren’t from school”.
Lance Corporal Sebastian Edwards, 16, was a pupil at St Bede’s School and is hoping to go to Reigate College in September. A cadet at Redhill Detachment ACF, Sebastian joined the ACF three years ago with friends as it sounded good and he wanted something fun and challenging to do. He said “I love the field exercises and the shooting because we don’t often get the opportunity to do it. The coasteering was fun – I’ve never done it before but I enjoyed it.”
Lance Corporal Kevin Perera, 16, is a pupil at St Bede’s School where he is about to go into the Sixth Form. A member of Redhill Detachment, he joined the ACF three years ago with friends and to get the military experience. He said “This Annual Camp has been great and I’ve enjoyed the adventure training days a lot, as well as the field craft and assault course which was good fun.” The highlight of Kevin’s ACF Career to date has been his promotion which took place during this year’s Annual Inspection as well as last November taking part in the Orienteering Nationals in Yorkshire where he achieved fifth position.
Staff Instructor James Armstrong is a volunteer Adult Instructor at Dorking and Reigate Detachment. He joined the ACF as staff two years ago having been a cadet himself. He said “I was trying to join the Army and sustained an injury so as I had enjoyed my time as a cadet so very much I wanted to give something back. I enjoy it and I get a lot out of it; especially watching the cadets get something out of it. It’s very rewarding seeing them progress and develop. James is an Emergency Care Support Worker for SECAMB (South East Central Ambulance) and enjoys the fun and social side of volunteering with Surrey ACF. He added “I’m able to develop my people management skills and via cadets I’m now trained to teach first aid which is a skill and qualification I can take into my civilian workplace”.
SSI Michael Exley, 43, volunteers as a Cadet Force Instructor at Redhill Detachment ACF. A wedding and portrait photographer as well as a stay at home Dad for his two year old daughter, Michael joined Surrey ACF three and a half years ago. He said “I spent 21 years in the Army as a radio operator with the Royal Logistics Corp and when we moved from Manchester to Crawley, I thought it would be a good way of meeting new people and making new friends. I’m always interested in my local community and I also wanted to utilise my qualifications from my military service. I find it very rewarding and a lot of fun. I especially enjoy seeing the marked improvement in the cadets after they’ve been coming along for a while”. He added “It does take up a lot of time but my wife is very supportive and understanding especially as she is an Army Reservist herself with 150 Recovery Company in Croydon”. Michael wants to build on his existing skills and is currently doing his Duke of Edinburgh Assessor qualification which will be of great benefit to Surrey ACF.
Cadet Chloe Link, 15, is an ACF Cadet at Yorktown Detachment having joined in October last year. A pupil at Frogmore Community College, she joined the ACF because she needed to do something with her spare time. She said “I wanted to make new friends that I have shared interests with and I want to join the Army. This is my first Annual Camp and I’ve enjoyed the shooting most of all as well as the adventure training days, especially the tunnelling, low ropes, army tanks, mountain biking and the coasteering. It’s all been great fun”.
Cadet RSM Shauna Lawless, 18, has been a member of Caterham Detachment ACF for four and a half years. She said “My arms are killing me – we’ve just done the sea kayaking – it was really good fun. This camp has been brilliant as there has been so much adventure training and sport. Sadly it’s my last one as I’ll be leaving soon and hopefully going off to university”. Shauna, who has been a student at Warlingham Sixth Form, joined the ACF for a different experience. She said “I wanted to meet new friends and do something different with my time. I like fitness and so cadets seemed a good idea. I want to teach sport and so the teaching qualifications you can get really help. I did the Senior Cadet Instruction Course last year and all the experiences I’ve had at Surrey ACF, including going to Australia on the three week exchange, definitely helped me to stand out on my Personal Statement. In fact, I’ve been given a reduced grade offer from Bath University on the back of my cadet skills and qualifications. So instead of needing 3A’s I now need ABB.”
Cadet Rowan Hendrie, 15, has been a member of the Royal Alexandra and Albert School Detachment for three years. He said, “Coasteering was amazing. I was quite scared to jump into the water because you don’t know what’s beneath you, but I did it!” Rowan, who joined Surrey ACF to help develop his teamwork skills, discipline and to conquer some of his fears, said that this summer camp was the best so far and the highlight of his cadet career, with the coasteering, sea kayaking and rock hopping being stand out activities.
Cadet Scarlett Millar, 13 has been a member of the Royal Alexandra and Albert School Detachment for almost a year having joined for all the activities, especially the athletics and other sports. She said “This is my first Summer Camp and it’s been brilliant. I did my Bronze Duke of Edinburgh Expedition which was a ten and a half hour hike along the coast in Swanage and Corfe Castle, spread over two days. I love meeting new people, making new friends and learning new things. The adventure training days like today have been the most fun. I do canyoning outside of cadets so I loved the coasteering and sea kayaking.”
Cadet Rose Guy, 14 is a pupil at The Beacon School and has been a cadet with Banstead Detachment for a year and a half. She said “This is my first Annual Camp and it’s really good. I’m meeting loads of new people. The adventure training days are the best and I like the coasteering, climbing and sea kayaking. I also really enjoyed the shooting.” Rose is set on a career in the Army and joined the Army Cadets to get an insight into some of the military skills.
Lance Corporal Zara Branco, 14, is a member of Horley Detachment ACF. A pupil at Oxted School, she joined Army Cadets two and a half years ago because she had lots of free time and she wanted to meet new people. She said “I love the fact you can say that you’ve done something that other people haven’t and it’s a different community to school friends”. Zara added “This Annual Camp, I’m seeing friends from previous annual camps that I don’t get to see as well as meeting new people”. Zara is enjoying her cadet experience and has gone on a trip to Normandy, and has achieved a BTEC in Leadership and Teamwork. She said “It’s great to get a qualification for doing something that you love”