SDCC Cadets Excel at Annual Summer Camp
The cadets at SDCC concluded their year of rigorous training with an unforgettable week at the annual summer camp.
This camp was the pinnacle of their hard work throughout the year, which included weekly training sessions and three previous exercises focused on fieldcraft, teamwork, and leadership skills.
The action-packed week began with the Seniors taking the lead, re-teaching the Juniors essential field craft, first aid, and personal hygiene lessons. As the days progressed, the cadets were thrust into various exercises, testing their mettle and camaraderie.
On the second day, a blank firing exercise saw Seniors guiding Juniors through a pairs fire and manoeuvre exercise to clear a simulated "danger" area. With the area secure, the cadets established a night camp under the starry skies. Under twilight's cover, the young cadets embarked on a thrilling patrol, seeking out the opposition's flags. Both teams emerged victorious, bringing back their spoils of chocolate and sweets to their safe camp.
The third day commenced with an early start, striking camp at sunrise and patrolling back to Standon Farm, their staging area. After a hearty breakfast, reccassance patrols were conducted to practice section skills and support the "civilian population," with Miss Osmaston playing the role of a distressed civilian brilliantly. Section-level attacks followed in the afternoon, now that the local population was safe.
In the evening, 165 Port and Maritime, Dertiford, generously hosted the cadets, offering them an enlightening tour of the reserve center and an opportunity to interact with a plethora of equipment.
Day four, Friday, was range day – a privilege earned by the cadets who impressed with their skills. At Whilsworthy Ranges, they participated in various shoots, starting at 25m and progressing to 100m, 200m, and even 300m shots. With an Electronic Targeting Range providing instant feedback, the cadets achieved remarkable groupings, rivalling even the regular army's standards.
The summer camp concluded on Saturday with the cadets diligently cleaning everything, including their rifles, and organizing all the kit back into storage. Throughout the camp, the cadets demonstrated the values and standards of the British Military, representing their school with utmost pride. The dedication and achievements of these young people in uniform deserve our collective admiration.
Cadet Corporal Pope expressed, "I love summer camp; at the start, there are juniors and seniors, but by the end, we are all the same." Cadet Swaddle shared, "It was a great learning experience and taught me how to work with people I don't know." Corporal G Elliott fondly recalled, "It was a nice week filled with laughter, and it brought us all together."
Captain Osmaston praised the cadets for pushing themselves beyond their comfort zones, and Second Lieutenant O'Brien found immense pleasure and privilege in witnessing the cadets' growth and achievements throughout the year.
The summer camp undoubtedly provided a platform for these young cadets to thrive and develop essential life skills. Their dedication, enthusiasm, and sense of camaraderie make us confident that these remarkable young individuals will continue to make a positive impact on their school, community, and beyond.