Tag Archives: Youth


Written by Lt Cdr (SCC) Ray Mitchell RNR – ARO Southern

The SA Windsurfing Regatta was held at Poole Harbour, Dorset on a rather blustery Sun 21 Aug.  The event was organised by Lt Colin Webb Commanding Officer of Poole Unit using MSSC Windsurfing Kit from the SA Pod which is housed at Poole.


All eyes were on the weather in the days leading up to the event as the wind forecast for the weekend was on the high side. The day before the event the wind was so strong that flying operations at the nearby Bournemouth Air Show were cancelled apart from the Red Arrows later in the day.  The forecast for the Sunday was much improved and after a few phone calls it was tentatively confirmed that the event would go on however a final look at the actual wind strength would be carried out at 0600 on Sunday morning.  Fortunately the wind had subsided to an acceptable strength and the Regatta was able to take place.

Everyone turned up to check in at 0915 and the competitors with the assistance of our RYA Windsurfing Instructor PO Joshua Hill from Poole Unit set up their boards and rigs ready for the off. As the rules allow you to use a smaller rig if required some were used as it was going to be gusty.

A triangular course was set up and a set of five two lap races was undertaken. A triangular course was used to prove that the competitors were able to sail on all points of the wind as well as tack and gybe the board effectively. In gusty conditions the upwind legs can be challenging and the downwind exhilarating. If you get your tack or gybe wrong you can end up having a dip (fortunately the water was warm).

A/C Tom M from Salisbury led the field on all five races and managed to stay fairly dry.  Cdt Jack L from Reigate who had never windsurfed on the sea before, and had the smallest rig due to his size, did exceptionally well to negotiate his way around the course and gain a lot of confidence in the process. By the second race he had mastered the conditions and completed the last four races in good time. A/Cs Sam, Fletcher and Mitch from Poole who regularly sail in Poole Harbour had a great time negotiating the course, getting good placings and taking a few dips in between.


Congratulations to all of the cadets that took part and a huge thank you to all of the adults who facilitated the event on a rather blustery morning in Poole Harbour.

Although the entry was fairly small we will have a good team going forward to the National Regatta at Southport at the end of September.
Winners were:
Up to 4.5 Metre Class
A/C Tom – Salisbury.  Gold.
Cdt Jack – Reigate. Silver.
Up to 5.5 Metre Class
A/C Sam – Poole. Gold.
A/C Fletch – Poole. Silver.
Up to 6.8 Metre Class
A/C Mitch – Poole. Gold

Overall Winning District – Wessex.

The Medals were presented by our Senior Staff Officer Commander (SCC)  Karen Kristiansen RNR

Photos at link: https://www.facebook.com/Southern-Area-Sea-Cadets-130450513717674/photos/?tab=album&album_id=1078100088952707

High adrenaline summer adventure for Southern Area Sea Cadets Part.4


Petty Officer Esther Selhi, 42, has volunteered as a Cadet Forces Adult instructor for the past three years.  A stay at home Mum of three, she joined the Maidstone unit when her son Saul became a cadet and she heard that they needed help and more staff.  She said “It’s very rewarding having cadets who’ve not done something before and seeing their confidence grow and their excitement in their achievements.”  Esther is taking advantage of the personal development opportunities.  She said “In terms of my own development I’ve trained to become a First Aid instructor, I’ve got an Adventure Leader qualification, as well as being a Duke of Edinburgh supervisor and assessor.  I’m also currently half way through my Basic Expedition Leader course”


Cadet Molly Salmon, 12, enjoys all the boating experiences and courses that come with being a sea cadet.  A member of the Gosport Unit, Molly has a passion for climbing.  She said “I love all the climbing that we get to do and being able to climb real rocks outside is an amazing opportunity.”  She added “If it wasn’t for Sea Cadets I wouldn’t really know who I was or what I like to do.  I totally recommend it – it’s so enjoyable”.


Civilian Instructor Joshua Smets, 20, is an outdoor instructor during the week and joined the High Wycombe Unit Sea Cadets ten months ago.  He said “I was a Royal Marine cadet from the age of 13 to 18 and I realised that I was doing all the outdoor pursuits that I’d done in cadets as my job and I found myself missing the cadet environment.  I got in touch and asked if I could bring my skills to my old unit and got onto all the courses so I can now instruct the cadets in these activities.”  He added “I enjoy seeing a smile on a kid’s face when the achieve something knowing that you’ve contributed to that achievement.  With Cadets you see them develop and grow in confidence.  It’s very rewarding and sometimes it’s hard work but the rewards definitely outweigh the hardship.”


Ordinary Cadet Saul Selhi, 14, is a Sea Cadet at the Maidstone Unit which he joined because he wanted to learn to kayak.  He said “I like kayaking and once I found out about the adventure training activities that sea cadets can do, I wanted to do that too”.   As well as kayaking, Saul enjoys climbing, shooting and camping. He added “Taking part in this adventure training week has shown me that I can do more than I thought I could do when I’m pushed a bit outside of my comfort zone”.


Cadet First Class Gabrielle Sellstrom, 13, is a Sea Cadet with Camberley Unit.  She said “I joined three years ago because my Dad is one of the instructors and so I’ve been brought up with Sea Cadets.  I really love all the different activities though and it’s fun meeting new people and being able to go on different courses.  This adventure training week is the by far the best course I’ve been on.  I’m very proud of myself as I’ve conquered my fear of heights.  Doing that climb just now was amazing.  Tomorrow we’re doing the zip wires and I’m looking forward to that.”  Gabby continued “Sea cadets has given me more confidence to go in the direction I want to go in life”.


Leading Cadet Sophie Rusling, 17, is a student at the UK Sailing Academy in Cowes on the Isle of Wight and is a sea cadet at the Cowes unit.  She said “I joined six and half years ago because it seemed a fun thing to do and offered a lot of opportunities.”  She added “This week has been awesome.  I came along on this course two years ago and I was petrified of heights and the staff have really helped me to overcome this.  I’m definitely into rock climbing now, and I’m not afraid to push myself.  I’m looking forward to the 100ft freefall which we are doing tomorrow.”



High adrenaline summer adventure for Southern Area Sea Cadets Part.3


Ordinary Cadet Dan Walker, 14, has been a Sea Cadet with Herne Bay Unit for the past four years and is a pupil at Chatham and Clarendon Grammar School.  He joined the Sea Cadets after an introduction from the Unit Vice Chairman who is a family friend.  He said “She thought I’d enjoy it.  I really do.  I like boating and all the away courses and the adventure training.  The Zip World activities have been the highlight of the week for me so far – they’ve been the most fun.”


Cadet First Class Tyler Selway, 14, is a Sea Cadet with Camberley Unit.  A pupil at Tomlinscote School and Sixth Form College, Tyler joined the Corps three years ago with his friend who he saw was doing lots of fun things including shooting.  He said “I’m really enjoying this week.  I’ve never done outside climbing before and enjoyed the scrambling up Tryfan.  The views were amazing and being in the fresh air was great.”  He added “I’ve learnt that I can commit to something – I come along to Sea Cadets every week – and it’s really helped to develop my character.  I’ve got a better sense of humour and I’m more polite and understanding of people”.


Sergeant Jayson Holland, 28, is a self-employed carpet cleaner and became an adult instructor 16 years ago.  A father of three, Jayson decided to become a cadet forces adult volunteer as he loved his own time as a sea cadet and wanted to carry on the learning and to take advantage of the opportunity to earn more qualifications.  He said “We also have a great laugh – it’s fun and very rewarding. There is strong camaraderie amongst the staff and the social aspect is good.” Jayson is a qualified climbing instructor and also climbs outside of the unit.  “I enjoy seeing the cadets growing in confidence and teaching them how to climb is a good way to build that”.


Petty Officer Sarah Phillips, 29, is a Cadet Forces Adult Volunteer with Herne Bay Unit Sea Cadets. A police officer with Kent Police, Sarah is an ex-Cadet herself and joined as a volunteer because she wanted to give something back.  She said “In my career I deal with kids from disadvantaged backgrounds and I’m a strong believer that if adults hadn’t volunteered at Sea cadets for me then I wouldn’t be where I am today.  I feel it’s my community and duty of service to give my time like this.  The Sea cadets have given me so many transferable skills and help me to understand children better.”  Sarah is a climbing instructor and said “Adventure Training in particular pushes children beyond their limits and when they achieve beyond their personal best or overcome a fear they thought was impossible, then I feel utterly proud.”  She continued “The team of instructors is fantastic and we’re very sociable.  We work together to help drive each other to overcome our fears and challenges too”.


Marine Cadet First Class Charlie Bolton, 14, joined the Tunbridge Wells unit 18 months ago.  A pupil at Beacon Academy, Charlie’s Step Dad who was a diver in the Royal Navy, inspired Charlie to become a cadet with tales of his experience.  Charlie is hoping to join the Royal Marines as an officer when he leaves school.  I’m really enjoying this adventure training week.  The highlight for me has been spending the day with one of the instructors who is an ex Royal Marine and climbing one of the mountains, really challenging myself.  Charlie said that since he became a cadet he is tidier and his shoes are always clean!  He continued “I’ve got more confidence in myself, the team and the equipment”.


Ordinary Cadet Jonty Peck, 14, is a pupil at Abbey School and has been a cadet with Faversham Unit Sea Cadets for three years.  He said “I joined cadets because I wanted to do something with my time after school on a Tuesday and Thursday.  I enjoy all the activities that we do and it’s fun going on courses and doing lots of different things.  My favourite activities are adventure training and mechanical engineering.”  Sitting on the side of a mountain after having done some rock climbing and abseiled down a 60m rock face, Jonty said “I love having the opportunity to be outside with magnificent views doing this”.


High adrenaline summer adventure for Southern Area Sea Cadets Part.2


Leading Cadet Alex Green, 17, is a pupil at Rainham School for Girls and has been a member of Medway Towns Sea Cadet Unit for almost six years.  She said “A friend of mine suggested we join Sea Scouts and I joined Sea Cadets by mistake!  I’m so glad I did!  I love the different courses and activities that you can do.  Last year I went sailing from Cork to Portsmouth and I’ve also been to Gran Canaria on a sailing trip.”  Alex, who wants to join the Royal Navy as either a Weapons Engineer or a Warfare Officer, did her first abseil in the Slate Quarry in Snowdonia.  She said “The abseiling was quite scary.  It was very high and taking that first step off the ledge was terrifying.  I’m so glad I did it though.  This week is brilliant fun.  It’s all proper adventure training and is giving us the opportunity to put the basics into practice.  Everyone is really nice, the staff and the other cadets and the zip lining is the best fun.”  She added “I’d definitely like to come back to Snowdonia to go climbing and mountain walking – this week has really inspired me”.


Marine Cadet Second Class Harvey Nicholson, 14, is a pupil at Beacon Academy and has been a sea cadet with Tunbridge Wells Unit for nearly a year.  “I joined because I want to be a Royal Marine when I leave school.  I really enjoy all the physical activity – it’s much more fun and suits me better to be out of the class room for most of the time”.  He added “The abseil that we did in the Slate Quarry was great fun and something that you wouldn’t normally get to do.”  He added “I came along this week for the experience and to meet new people – I’m really enjoying it all”.


Cadet First Class Max Witherington, 15, is a pupil at George Abbott school in Guildford and has been a sea cadet with the Guildford Unit for just over one year.  He said “I wanted to do something constructive with my spare time and so I joined Sea Cadets.  I especially love the boating especially kayaking, canoeing and paddling and the atmosphere at the unit is very welcoming and I’ve made lots of friends that are from outside school.”  He added “I’m really enjoying this adventure training week.  The mountain hike and scramble was great fun and it was quite a challenge to find the route whilst you were scrambling.  I think doing the big jump will be quite scary but I’m looking forward to having a go and doing it”.


Ordinary Cadet Josh Phillips, 15, is a pupil at the Archbishop’s School in Canterbury and is a member of Herne Bay Sea Cadet Unit.  He said “My cousin is a sea cadet and I liked the sound of all the activities that are on offer.  I love all the different courses and activities you can do.  I’m definitely more confident and more prepared and willing to try new things.”  Josh attended the adventure training week last year and so he knew what to expect “I wanted to come again this year because it’s really fun.  I’m looking forward to the zip wires in the caverns”.


Petty Officer Nathan Joseph has been an Adult Instructor with the Sea Cadets for 12 years.  He joined the High Wycombe Unit as a cadet in September 1999 and is now back at his old unit as an instructor.  Nathan, who currently works as a Conference Assistant is currently studying to be a youth worker, said “I’m dyslexic and being a sea cadet helped me immensely with my learning disability and challenges.  I became a CFAV because I wanted to share my personal experience and support other children with learning disabilities within the sea cadet environment and to help to get the best out of them.  It’s also great fun.”  He added “I started the Adventure Training courses this year.  So far I’ve achieved the Duke of Edinburgh Assessor and Supervisor qualifications, and am also an Adventure Leader.  I’m just about to start my Mountain Bike instructor qualifications and I’m in the process of building my bike myself.


First Class Cadet Jake Salmon, 13, has been a Sea Cadet with Gosport Unit for just over four years.  A pupil at Bay House School, he said “My Mum and Dad run my unit so I’ve been into boating since I was very young.  I’ve been on the sailing and shooting courses and enjoy all the activities.  This Adventure Training Week has been a lot of fun.  I’ve enjoyed the indoor rock climbing the most so far and I’m looking forward to the 100ft freefall and the Power Fan although I am a bit scared!”



High adrenaline summer adventure for Southern Area Sea Cadets Part.1

SOUTHERN AREA SEA CADETS are having the time of their lives on a fun-filled and action packed multi-activity adventure training week in Snowdonia.  Twenty four cadets and eleven adult instructors, all unpaid volunteers, from across the eight districts in the Area, are spending seven days (12-21 August) in the picturesque Welsh National Park taking part in a wide variety of exhilarating adventure training activities.


Ranging in age from 12 to 17, the Sea Cadets who attended come from units based in Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Hampshire, Surrey, Sussex, Kent and the Isle of Wight have been rock climbing in the mountainous region, abseiling in a disused slate quarry, undertaken a mountain expedition and ridden the world famous mountain bike trails on Coed y Brenin.  In addition, the cadets have tackled underground Zip wires and Via Ferrata course, experienced the thrill of a freefall from a 100ft Powerfan, and conquered the high ropes and Tree Top Adventure, all part of North Wales’s Zip World which offers a wide-range of high adrenalin activities, and whose founder, Sean Taylor is a keen supporter of the Sea Cadets.


Cadet First Class Isabelle Talaga, 15, has been a Sea Cadet with Henley Detachment since she was ten years old.  A pupil at Waingels College in Reading, Isabelle joined the Sea Cadets to take advantage of the range of opportunities.   She said “I personally really enjoy rock climbing and we’ve had the opportunity to go to the world class Joint Services Climbing Centre with very unique facilities to practice our basics and now, as I’m working towards my intermediate qualification, I’m having the opportunity to climb real rock faces in an outdoor environment.  It’s brilliant fun”.


Ordinary Cadet Josie Day, 15, is a Sea Cadet with Henley Detachment.  She said “I joined Sea Cadets following a recruitment drive at our school when I was ten and I’ve done some amazing things in the past five years.  I spent a week on TS Jack Petchey when I was 13 which, at the time, was the longest I’d been away from home – it was great fun”.  A pupil at Gillots in Henley, Josie is a very keen climber who is working towards her Intermediate Climbing qualification which she is hoping she will achieve after this week’s climbing in Snowdonia.  “I’m hoping to be more confident at meeting new people this week and I’m sure that the high speed mountain biking will be a bit of a challenge too”.  She added “I really enjoyed the climbing and abseiling in the slate quarry – it was quite nerve wracking but I have an immense sense of achievement”.


Cadet Jessica Smith, 15, has been a Sea Cadet at Guildford Detachment for two years.  A pupil at St Peter’s School, she joined with a friend and is really enjoying doing all the adventure training activities that are on offer, especially the boating.  She said “This Adventure Training Week is really fun and I love doing all this stuff so much.  I climbed Tryfan yesterday, which is a mountain, and I had such a real sense of achievement of getting to the top.  It took us four hours but it was amazing and the views from the top were spectacular”.


Cadet First Class Peter Asekakhai, 15, is a pupil at Archbishop’s in Canterbury.  He has been a sea cadet with Faversham Detachment for the past two years.  He said “I went to France with school on a watersports holiday and I enjoyed it so much I thought I’d like to continue and so I joined Sea Cadets.   My proudest moment was taking part in last year’s Trafalgar Parade in Canterbury where I was looking smart in front of my family and friends”.  Peter is hoping to overcome his fears this week, especially when tackling the 100ft freefall on the Power Fan.  He continued “I’ve done some climbing and that was fun and the mountain scramble up Tryfan gave me a real sense of achievement, especially when we got to the top.”


Cadet First Class Paul Kirkby, 12, is a pupil at The Petersfield School.  Paul, who lives in Bordon, has been a sea cadet at Farnham Detachment for two years.  He said “I went to the Bournemouth Airshow and saw one of the Sea Cadet stands.  I was really interested in the activities that were on offer and so I joined my local detachment.”  He added “I really enjoy sailing and as a unit we go every week to Hawley Lake; I’ve got my RYA 1 qualification now”.  During the Adventure Training week, Paul was enjoying taking part in the different activities.  He said “The mountain biking has been the most fun but I also enjoyed the mountain scramble up Tryfan – I found it hard though because I’m quite short!  I’m looking forward to the zip wires in the caverns which we’re doing later this week – I think that’s going to be really cool.”


Surrey Army Cadets Annual Camp 2016 Part.5


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.”


Surrey Army Cadets Annual Camp 2016 Part.4


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”.



Surrey Army Cadets Annual Camp 2016 Part.3


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”.


Surrey Army Cadets Annual Camp 2016 Part.2


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”


Surrey Army Cadets Annual Camp 2016 Part.1



ARMY CADETS from across the whole of the county of Surrey have returned home after spending two weeks on Dorset’s Jurassic Coast  (24th July – 5th August) for their Annual Summer Camp.

For the Cadets, aged between 12 and 18 years old, Summer Camp is an exciting and enjoyable two weeks packed with fun and adventure and sees them take part in a huge variety of outdoor activities.  This year’s camp, with “teamwork” as the overriding theme, enabled the cadets to make the most of their coastal location and saw them coasteering, rock hopping, sea kayaking, orienteering, mountain biking and climbing as part of their adventure training activities.  This was undoubtedly the highlight of the camp for the Cadets, many of whom were away from home for the first time.   The adventure training activities took place at several Dorset locations; Lulworth Cove, Wareham and Weymouth and the Isle of Portland.

In between these outdoor activities, the Cadets practiced their first aid skills, drill, map & compass reading on orienteering courses, their military knowledge, tent building and safe weapon handling. A group of Two Star Cadets also took part in a field training exercise and dismounted close combat training, swimming and obstacle course at Bovington Camp, as well as undertaking their Bronze Duke of Edinburgh Expedition.  The most senior cadets spent four nights in the field, and had the opportunity to practice long range shooting and navigation.

Throughout the fortnight, the 215 Cadets were looked after by 64 Adult Instructors all of whom are volunteers and manage a broad programme of military and adventurous training activities designed to develop character and leadership.  Surrey ACF were also joined by 18 cadets from Western Australia Army Cadet Force and their five adult volunteers as part of their ongoing exchange programme.