I’ve just returned from the first summer camp we’ve had for three years. In pre-pandemic times we would head off for a week each summer and spend that time at a RAF Station and have great fun doing activities. This year we booked accommodation at RAF Henlow and organised our own camp. Normally HQ would allocate us to a camp somewhere in the country but all the systems aren’t working very well yet, they’ll get there. So we drove ourselves to RAF Henlow and settled into the cadet block there, Barrack Block 56.
Our first day at camp was getting unpacked, checking the block and sending the cadets on a FAMEX. We also booked into the cinema in Royston to see Top Gun Maverick. It was much better on second watching and I didn’t expect that to happen! Sunday was a trip to Wyboston Lakes and an assault course in the morning followed by time on the inflatables in the lake. It was great, even with the A&E visit that was required.
LJ and I had a bit of a prank war going on and the picture above was the point at which we decided just to make it a verbal roasting war rather than anything physical. We could both see it was going to get out of hand! Monday was a multi-activity day with some cadets going flying with 5AEF at RAF Wittering, some cadets went to the Imperial War Museum at Duxford and others went for a trip around a nuclear bunker and some high ropes. Great fun was had by all. In the evening a pilot mate of mine came and gave the cadets a talk about the flying industry.
Tuesday we visited RAF Honington to see what the RAF Regiment and Force Protection get up to. We might have had some instruction on small burst weapons during the day and then had a visit to the heritage centre detailing all the exploits of the Regiment.
Wednesday was a visit to the RAF Centre of Aviation Medicine at RAF Henlow followed by weapon training. In the evening I ran a DCCT range over the other side of the airfield at the Force Protection flight.
Thursday was a trip to the Shuttleworth Collection for a private tour and trip on a bus that was over a hundred years old. There were a few planes flying and that was nice to see. RAF Henlow not being a flying base.
Thursday evening was another session in the DCCT range and virtually all cadets gained their L98A2 trained shot badge with the excellent guidance of the staff. It’s a pretty good achievement. Friday was the reverse of Monday with 12 more cadets getting airborne at RAF Wittering and the others heading to the bunker and high ropes.
Friday evening was paper plate awards and chill time. TR and I went to visit the Officers’ Mess and checked out the bar. Saturday we tidied up, somehow loaded our transport of all the kit and headed home after lunch. It was a great week and another memorable camp. Such excellent fun and hopefully an amazing experience for our cadets. RTU was around 1500 hours and then the buses were tidied and parked up. We arrived back at the same time as the Army section which caused some issues in the car park but it all worked out in the end. I’m looking forward to next year.