Friday 3rd October 03 a group of 11 cadets and 3 staff from our
sqn set off in a minibus headed for colder and somewhat less populated
(not counting sheep) Elan Valley. Elan Valley is a small camp used
by the air cadets for weekends away in which cadets are able to
learn basic navigation skills such as map reading, radio communications
and simple compass work.
As this weekend was the first time I had visited the camp I was
slightly apprehensive about what would be expected of us and how
much walking would be involved not to mention the fact 15 cadets
from another sqn whom I had never met before were going. However
as the weekend unfolded, and we all got to know each other, I began
to enjoy myself more and more.
On the Friday as we got there we split off into small groups and
went on a short walk around the surrounding area to get to used
to our kit etc. for the longer and more challenging walk the next
day. Upon returning from this walk we had dinner (cooked by the
boss and consisting of burgers and jacket potato) and then once
again put on our walking kit and headed out in threes for an exercise
which involved bearings and measuring distance. This exercise, along
with being very enjoyable, helped teach basic skills which I did
not know before.
On the Saturday we awoke early and enjoyed a hearty cooked breakfast
to prepare us for our day out walking. My group were the first group
to leave the camp and 18km and a few rain showers later we returned
slightly damp but really pleased to have completed the walk in such
good time (I was able to have a two hour snooze whilst waiting for
our other group to return).
Sunday, our final day, we got up slightly later and then partook
in an exercise involving a small cadet "breaking his leg"
and the rest of the group, using the skills we had learnt during
our time as air cadets, had to get the injured cadet back to base
to seek medical attention. (I must ensure you all that no cadets
were injured for the purpose of the exercise!!!)
During my weekend in Wales I learnt many valuable skills, which
I hope, may come in useful in the future and I will definitely volunteer
to go on such a weekend again.