In March a group of eight students from West Buckland CCF travelled up to South Wales to take part in the annual Cambrian Patrol challenge - an event spanning two days and 35km designed to test Cadets to their limits. Year 11, Corporal Kian Hayles-Cotton, Second in Command of the West Buckland CCF team, describes how the team got on and the benefits of joining the WBS CCF.
The Cambrian Patrol challenge is made up of ‘stands’ to which we had to walk, carrying everything needed to survive two days in the field, as well as weapons. When we got to a stand we received instructions to complete a task such as observe the enemy or administer first aid to wounded soldiers. The route on day one comprised of steep climbs, treacherous bogs and the odd river crossing to contend with and covered around 30km. On the first night Staff Sergeant Hancock and I prepared orders for the next day’s section attack in the next valley. It was a late night with only three hours sleep and when combined with the previous night`s two hours, it caused a sluggish start to the next morning!
The day began crisp and sunny improving on yesterday’s constant threat of rain and making for easier going. We launched the attack and all went to plan. We were ordered off the battlefield to prepare for prize giving and the long trip home when we were greeted by Mr Flynn and Ms Harding with food and drinks. The team did really well overall achieving a bronze medallion for our efforts and when compared with teams from Manchester ACF and Carmarthenshire ACF, the small North Devon hamlet did quite well!
Although the competition was tough, especially with wet boots from a last minute river crossing, we all enjoyed it thoroughly and would love do the whole thing again next year. If anybody is interested in joining a CCF or ACF I can only recommend it. Not only does it look good on your CV, it provides you with important life skills in leadership and teamwork. There are also opportunity to attend camps in different parts of the UK and even abroad, to do everything from developing military skills to white water rafting.
I would just like to thank everybody at the CCF who helped get us here and especially Mr Flynn and Ms Harding who organised training walks, camps and the actual event itself.