Cadets from 121 Squadron have just completed a five-day expedition
training camp at the Warwickshire and Birmingham Wing adventure
training centre at Elan Valley.
During the week the cadets took part in a rigorous schedule of
expedition training activities which included leadership exercises,
route card preparation, camp craft and navigation exercises.
They also had plenty of opportunities to put their knowledge of
map and compass work into practise as they successfully navigated
their way around various routes in the Elan Valley area.
Our cadets have been hill walking in the area many times before
but this visit to the Elan Valley training centre had something
completely different on the programme, an exiting new experience
for most of the younger cadets, rafting.
The raft building exercises were conducted by the Elan
Valley Lodge management development centre. The cadets received
instruction in raft building techniques and a safety brief after
which teams of cadets were set free to build their own rafts using
an array or poles, barrels and lengths of rope. Before long there
was some serious competition between the teams, each determined
to use their pioneering skills to produce the best raft and be the
first crew to take to the water without sinking. After lots of frantic
activity the rafts were all lashed up and ready to go, the moment
of truth, had come, would they float, would they stay in one piece
or would they go straight to the bottom and unceremoniously dump
their crews in the drink. Once in the water the teams boarded their
rafts and paddled of as hard as they could determined to go just
that little bit further and faster than the other crews before their
Raft building is a great way to develop teamwork and enjoy yourself
at the same time. Its mentally and physically demanding and it makes
everyone involved fully aware of the need for effective teamwork,
communication, motivation and decision making. Oh! and you get well
and truly soaked in the process.
The raft building was such a success that the staff who planned
the camp are determined to include another visit to the Elan Valley
Lodge management development centre within the training programme
for our next camp at Elan Valley. Who knows we may even have a go
at some of the other activities offered by the centre such as Rock-Climbing,
Abseiling or Canadian Canoeing.
See the Image
Gallery for lots more photographs from Elan Valley