Within your first year as a cadet you will be given ample opportunities to attend one of the many Squadron and Sector camps that are run at weekends in your local area. Weekend camps are designed to give you a taste of specific activities such as navigation, camp-craft and working as a team. These camps provide a great introduction to the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme, camp-craft and drill to name a few. You will also make some great new friends from Squadrons in your local area.
The format of a weekend camp can vary depending on the type of activities you will be undertaking over the course of the weekend. Camps that are focused on Adventure Training will see you camping and cooking for yourself, whereas an introduction to the RAF camp will see you spending the weekend on an RAF station learning how they operate and more about drill and discipline.
Every camp organised by the Air Cadet Organisation has some form of small cost associated with them. This usually covers the cost of the camp-site and your food for the weekend. Don’t worry too much about having all the latest gear either as most Squadrons have equipment that you can borrow.
Annual camps take you away from home for a week to experience what it is like to be a member of the Royal Air Force. Often taking place far away from home, these camps are a great opportunity to meet cadets from other Squadrons in your area and take part in some exciting activities.
Once you are a First Class Cadet you are eligible to attend an Annual Camp with the Air Cadet Organisation. These camps normally take place during school holidays, however this can’t always be guaranteed. Due to the location of RAF stations you could be spending a week in Scotland, Wales or Lincolnshire to name a few.
Unlike weekend camps you will be expected to be more independent and capable of looking after your own uniform and accommodation throughout the week. Don’t worry if you don’t know the best method for polishing your shoes, there are cadet Non-Commissioned Officers (NCO’s) on hand to show you the best way to get a brilliant shine!
Whilst on an Annual Camp you will have the opportunity to visit various sections of the RAF, from one of the flying Squadrons and their aircraft to the Air Traffic Control tower to learn how the airfield operates safely. You will also take part in many fun activities including sports, adventure training and visits in the local area.