CCF Summer Camp report
Major Hawkins lead his team and a large group of cadets from Lower Fifth to Upper Sixth to Jersey Camp on the Isle of Wight for a week of CCF training.
Thursday 13 July:
Major Hawkins reports that the cadets on CCF camp are having a very active week. Monday was spent sailing with plenty of capsizes in blustery conditions and walking the coastal cliffs to see the Needles and a Cold War rocket test site, not all the cadets were as enthusiastic about the rocket site as Major Hawkins! However they did enjoy their ice creams and cream teas. Tuesday was grey and wet. The morning was on land with axe throwing, archery and mountain boarding. The centre staff were very complimentary about the cadets who continued to do well despite regular downpours. As we were wet anyway the afternoon was devoted to the sea. Some of the group did coasteering until the surf conditions made it too difficult to carry on. Everybody went on the giant paddleboard and paired of for sea kayaking. This year Captain Jones and 2Lt Stubbings stayed in the kayak and did not sink (well only once). All the cadets were shooting on the range on Wednesday and they all fired 60 rounds each with some excellent shooting from all the age groups. Thursday saw the start of the tactics phase and the cadets prepared for the final exercise under the command of the cadet NCOs.
Friday 14 July:
Some rather tired cadets are struggling to get up for breakfast this morning as Thursday was a very long day full of physical activity.
In the morning they learnt how to do platoon attacks ready for Friday’s “big push”. As the temperature increased we moved into the shade of the woods to learn from Captain Jones about stops, sweeps and assault groups. Training in woods with limited visibility makes command and control really difficult. This resulted in some “blue on blue” incidents, confused junior cadets and frustrated senior cadets. In the afternoon the senior cadets took the platoon back into the woods to iron out the problems.
After dinner the platoon moved out in the cool of the evening to start the wood clearing operation with blank rounds. There was now organised chaos as the earlier training paid off and the woods were cleared with the enemy being forced back over the bridge. As darkness fell many of the cadets volunteered to stay out so fighting patrols were organised to follow up the enemy retreat while some of the L5 practised their fire and manoeuvre for the “big push”. Breakfast calls as the SSI is boosting the troop’s morale with “Smile everybody!”
Saturday 15 July:
After an early breakfast the platoon moved out to clear the enemy from the area. As they moved across the bridge onto the main area the enemy opened fire catching the friendly forces by surprise. After a quick dash across the bridge Ellie Sadeghi led her section after the enemy and chased them away from the first ridge line overlooking the river. This allowed Nikita Molin Thoegersen to see where the next enemy position was and make a plan to attack them. Ellie moved her section into a position to give covering fire while Charlotte Walker took her section on a flanking attack. As the enemy ran away the two sections switched roles and Charlotte’s section provided fire support while Ellie carried out another flanking attack. Then Emily Kirsch Mills brought up the reserves for the next phase with Alyssa Ross taking over as point section. Again Nikita made a plan for her attacks and Fred Rai led his section into the assault. Unfortunately they missed a well hidden 2Lt Stubbings who “caused carnage” as he opened fire from behind the group. The enemy moved off to the highest hill on the area with magnificent views over the Isle of Wight and across to the mainland. Alyssa Ross then led her section on the longest flanking attack in CCF history as she had to chase the enemy off the hill and then all the way back towards their camp. She finally caught up with them after crawling through a hedge with her section and doing Charlie / Delta for 200 metres. This performance earned 3 Section “Best Section at Camp”. Nikita and Emily had called their platoon “The Dream Team” and that is a very accurate description of the way they all worked together throughout the week and especially during the final exercise.
A long trudge back to camp was rewarded with a giant hot dog and 2 hours of weapon cleaning. Finally there were some good byes to Phoebe Lawurie, Maggie Baxter and Monty Carroll. The remaining U5 NCOs were all promoted to Corporal. The OC thanked the U6 leavers and presented CCF shields to CSMs David Mitchard and Nikita Molin Thoegersen. Tom Shepherd and Jesper Molin Thoegersen were promoted to Sergeant. Ellie Sadeghi, Charlotte Walker and Fred Rai will be Colour Sergeants. Alyssa Ross will be CSM next year.
As a final reward for all the hard work everyone was taken down to Yarmouth for some very well deserved R and R. Many ice creams were consumed and several brave souls dipped into the sea. The main focus for the evening appears to be “Love Island”!