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15 Air Cadets and 3 staff left the 121 (Nuneaton) Sqn headquarters on Friday 4th April for a weekend at the Warwickshire and Birmingham Wing Adventure Training Centre at Elan Valley, Powys, Mid Wales. The Elan Valley Centre is located at the bottom of the picturesque Elan Valley alongside the River Elan which leads up to one of several dams in the area supplying water to the Birmingham area. On arrival at the centre the cadets underwent local Health and Safety briefs and then went on a small local area walk to familiarise themselves with their new surroundings. This short walk also give many of the younger cadets their first opportunity to put some of their classroom navigation training into action and experience map reading and navigation within an unfamiliar environment. Once the cadets returned to the Elan Valley Centre they had their evening meal and then spent the rest of the evening planning their routes ready for the next day.

Sat 5th April brought a dull start to the morning, as the weather was misty but forecast to get warmer later in the day. The cadets began their walk at 0830 and set off from the centre on what was to be a 15-mile walk in the Elan Valley area. The walk was hard going at times and really took it out of some cadets. With plenty of breaks and constant moral boosting the cadets continued on to reach their goal. Completion of this walk would go towards helping the cadets to qualify for their Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Award practices and actual expeditions. As we continued on the weather took a real unexpected turn, the sun came out and began to get very strong. This combined with the rugged terrain made the walk hard going but very satisfying just for the views. The cadets all did very well and the staff were proud of the effort they put in. The walking was hard going but good fun and provided us all with amazing views on what became a gorgeous day.

Sun 6th April once again began dull and misty and was going to stay like it for most of the day. The cadets visited the Elan Valley dams during the morning and then returned to the Elan Valley Centre for a cleaning session before departing at lunch time for the drive home.

Flt Lt Crewe Officer Commanding 121 (Nuneaton) Squadron said that "The Weekend had provided all the cadets with the experience of map reading and adventure training and had given some cadets the opportunity to get some signatures in their D of E Award books. It's been hard work for everyone but most rewarding, that's what life in the Air Cadet organisation is all about".

Further reading
Elan Valley - Raft Building


Nuneaton cadets on adventure training exercise at Elan Valley, Powys, Mid Wales
Back at the Elan Valley Centre, Ian Crewe helps to prepare the evening meal for the cadets. You may manage one of his pancakes but nobody could survive a second.
Nuneaton cadets have a short rest during 15-mile walk in the Elan Valley area
Ben Pinner takes in the view of the Elan Valley area.

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