Air Cadets and staff from 2222 Brigg Squadron took part in a camp at RAF St Mawgan in Cornwall, with many trips and activities arranged during the week-long event.
The RAF Station was until recently one of the largest in the UK, as it used to fly the Shackleton and Nimrod aircraft, but the airfield was sold in 2008 to become Newquay International Airport.
This in itself provided the camp with many challenges to overcome to ensure the cadets had an interesting and fun time around the camp.
There were some significant visits during the week, including the Davidstow Museum – part of an old RAF airfield that has been lovingly restored, and focuses primarily on RAF Davidstow Moor from its opening on 1st October 1942 until its closure at the end of 1945.
It also covers all the other airfields along the North Cornwall coast, the Royal Navy in and around the county, the Army civilian services, home front etc.
The cadets and staff visited the Blue Reef Aquarium in Newquay, where they came face to face with giant loggerhead turtles, reef sharks, shoals of coloured fish, crocodiles, seahorses and numerous other creatures, this visit was followed by free time which was spent exploring Newquay.
The RAF motivational outreach team hosted the cadets for a day where they took part in various events consisting of teamwork and leadership tasks set throughout the day to provide an introduction into how the military operates whilst instilling a sense of adventure, excitement and self-development amongst the cadets.
Alongside the outreach team, the cadets were also treated to a physical training session with the RAF Physical Training Instructors who put them through their paces in the gym.
The camp visited Royal Naval Air Station Culdrose, also known as HMS Seahawk, near Helston on the Lizard Peninsula of Cornwall.
The station currently has three major roles: serving the Fleet Air Arm’s front line Sea King and Merlin helicopter squadrons; providing search and rescue for the South West region; and training divers for the Royal Navy.
Hosts for the afternoon was 750 Naval Air Squadron when the cadets learnt about the King Air – the aircraft which the squadron flies - and also about the training the squadron provides for the Fleet Air Arm observers.
Another visit included a trip to the Eden Project, where the cadets went inside the two huge adjoining domes which house thousands of plant species, with each enclosure emulating a natural biome.
The first dome emulates a tropical environment, with the second a Mediterranean environment.
A little twist and treat was experienced by all when the cadets were informed they would have a chance to make chocolate during their visit.
Cadets and staff took part in the chocolate trading game, where they all journeyed through the rainforest to unwrap the history of this ‘food of the gods’.
They met historical characters from around the world and went through time as they learnt how important chocolate has been to people over the ages.
And at the end of the journey, they made their own chocolate bars to take home.
A visit to the Oasis Fun Pool at Hendra Holiday Park saw the cadets and staff experience the fast and furious high speed aqua whiz flume, the 265ft super red flume, and the fun for all gentle slides.
The river rapids sent everyone spinning and then they were drenched under fountains and waterfalls too.
Further time was spent enjoying the beautiful beaches of Cornwall, namely Watergate Bay, Fistral Beach, Mawgan Porth and surrounding areas.
The cadets enjoyed sandcastle building and sports on the beach as part of some evening activities, as well as time spent on camp participating in first aid lessons and navigational training sessions.
The highlight of the week for all the cadets and most of the younger staff members was the last day of camp where a treat was in store in the form of water sports.
After many phone calls to various surf schools desperately trying to find discounted prices, the Newquay Activity Centre hosted a full day of body boarding and surfing on the surfing epicentre of the UK: Fistral Beach.
The cadets were split into two groups, half went body boarding for the morning and the other group went surfing; they then had lunch and swapped over for the afternoons activities.
The body boarding proved popular with all, super fun and most of the camp caught their first waves within the first five minutes of their lessons, improving on every wave after that.
The surfing proved slightly more difficult, but nevertheless despite the sea being a little cold, all the fun-loving attitudes of the cadets shone through and everybody had a smile on their face.
Cadet Katie Willoughby said: “I did not expect any of the activities we have taken part in this week.
“Overall, it has been a different ATC annual camp, compared to those I have been on in the past, where we have seen far more RAF activity but the facilities surrounding Cornwall definitely had to be put to use.
“I think I can speak on behalf of all the cadets in saying we have had a really great time, and will have happy memories of RAF St Mawgan”.
Squadron Leader John Fallon, Camp Commandant for the week, congratulated the cadets for their behaviour throughout the camp and said this, along with a good team of staff, was one of the main reasons the camp was such a success.
For youngsters aged 13 to 17 wishing to join Brigg Air Cadets, parade nights are Tuesday and Thursday at the Cadet Centre in Bridge Street, Brigg from 7pm to 9.30pm.
The next recruitment night is Tuesday, June 10, starting at 7pm.
Further information from the Squadron Commander, Flt Lt Gill Wills, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.