Headmaster spends a day at camp with CCF cadets

Mr Craggs has just returned from a visit to the annual CCF camp and reports team spirit is high, despite the weather…

“I have just returned this morning from a visit yesterday to a very rain soaked North Yorkshire and our annual CCF camp at Catterick Garrison. I writing just to update you on their wee

On my arrival the cadets were on the ranges in what would normally be a very picturesque Yorkshire Dales and  taking part in a shoot at distances of up to 200m – a challenging task in miserable weather conditions of squally, driving rain. However, our cadets did well and recorded some good scores. After a packed lunch in one of the nearby troop shelters the afternoon was spent indoors in the nearby DCCT range and which enables the cadets to fire the same rifles but in what is probably best described as a huge interactive simulation. The main advantage? – it was so much drier and warmer than being out in the hills.

While a little damp, the cadets were in good spirits and certainly showed little inclination to swap their week of cadet activities for some maths, history or English lessons back at school. They had clearly spent an enjoyable day on Tuesday taking part in a challenging form of what is best described as a “Tough-Mudder” style of assault course during which they enthusiastically got very wet and muddy!

I was very impressed by their enthusiasm and also the way in which they look after each other – especially in some challenging weather. It is worth sharing with you that during my visit I was  approached by a ACF instructor from Northumbria ACF and who had been assisting to staff and operate the range package that day. This is someone who has seen a good number of cadet units and schools. She was very complimentary about our children and went on to say that they were  “nice kids” who were good, hard working and a pleasure to look after. This was good to hear – especially from someone who has seen many other cadet units and has something to compare them with.

The no-mobile phone policy has also helped enormously – indeed staff report that it is refreshing to see children not constantly on their devices checking texts, social media, and e-mails. Not having their phones has lead to a marked drop in petty squabbling as the children find other ways to pass their time by doing some slightly old fashioned things like having a conversation, kicking a ball around, playing together and enjoying being children again. It was good to see.

I’m confident that when they get back on Saturday they will have some stories to tell about their adventures over the week. I’ll guarantee that they’ll also relish a long lie-in on Sunday. A week of 6.00am starts together with lots of fresh air and outdoor activities well help with that!”