The annual CCF Central Camp is a fun week led by members of the regular forces, with a good balance of military and adventure-style training, all with the aim of developing young people and their leadership skills. The base for this year’s camp was an army training camp in Sennybridge, South Wales.
For the Shrewsbury School contingent, the week started with ‘The Holy Grail’, a multi-activity team-building race, where cadets had to earn points from doing archery, command tasks and the formidable ‘Jacobs Ladder’ challenge (a 40-metre suspended ladder with only six rungs – see pictures). Once they had sufficient points, they could exchange them for bikes to get them to an orienteering area where they needed yet more points to trade for raft-building materials. The day finished with a raft build in order to claim ‘the Holy Grail’ – a padlocked barrel – from the River Wye. Needless to say, the teams all got extremely wet!
Day two of the camp was Exercise Day. The cadets were deployed into a small plantation. Once they’d cleared it and confirmed it free of enemy, they established a harbour area by erecting bashas (shelters). They then had numerous operations to fulfil, including recces, clearance patrols and a night ambush. It was an exciting and tense night.
The remainder of the week was filled with more military-style activities. The highlight for many was the day spent with the Royal Engineers. The team learnt how to correctly lash planks and barrels together, producing a huge raft for at least a section of cadets. This particular day ended with numerous raft races between our own cadets and cadets from other schools.
Maj Jo Billington