I was lucky enough to have been selected to join 150 other cadets from all around the country who attend the week long Cadet 150, Duke of Edinburgh's Award Residential course at the Britannia Royal Naval College, Dartmouth. The course was attended by Army, Air and Sea Cadets along with a number of Sea Scouts, from all over the UK to mark 150 years of the Cadet movement.
During the week there was little down time as the course was intense with a full schedule of activities and exercises.
On arriving at Portsmouth and South Sea railway station we were taken to the RFA Argus which is a Royal Fleet Auxiliary support vessel. The idea of visiting Argus was that we were going to put to sea the next day and make our way around the coast to the Britannia Royal Navel College. Unfortunately the next day, when we were due to sail the Argus developed a hydraulic fault, so the staff decided to use the naval plan b …. A coach!
The Residential was based on a Foundation Course in Duke of Edinburgh's Award Leadership . During my time on the course we had additional activities which included sailing in picket boats and single screw “whalers”. We had to perform various command tasks, tackle a low ropes course, attempt to sail a naval ship using the bridge trainer, we had to endure a lot of sport and we even got to ride on motorbikes courtesy of the white helmets display team, which I must say was pretty amazing!
We also had the great pleasure of meeting a quite well known woman who sailed the Pacific Ocean on her own. This women was in fact Debra Searle, she gave a presentation on how to be successful in what we want to do and how to push our self’s. She also told us how she used ‘change your attitude’ to keep her going whilst sailing the ocean all by herself on a little boat. I thought she was amazing, how she put things across and she made me think and to be honest it changed my attitude towards life just by giving an influential talk. There was also a formal dinner night where we all had to wear dinner suits and prom dresses for the girls. During the course the 150 cadets were split into mixed groups a ceilidh for which each division had to lead a dance, which was a laugh a minute.
At the end of the week we had a final parade and a march past which took place in front of the world famous, Britannia Royal Naval College. I felt highly proud to be part of the parade, a once in a lifetime opportunity.
I was also lucky enough with others to be select to take charge of the colour party for the morning hoisting and evening lowering of the Royal Naval Ensign during which I had to shout the commands and sound the boson’s whistle.
I really did have a great time at the Britannia Royal Navel College and I also felt really proud to be issued with a foundation certificate in Duke of Edinburgh's Award leadership and also the gold residential
It was a fanatic week, full of excitement and laughter and would recommend it to any other cadets if a similar course ever becomes available again.
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