On the 14th of July, Flt Sgt McCormack, Cdt Cizek and I began a 6-hour coach journey, with 25 other cadets from Dorset and Wilts Wing and a number of staff, including Flt Lt Williamson, to RAF Shawbury. This camp would be my first, so I was extremely excited for the seven days ahead.
Our accommodation was surprising: a hangar containing a football and basketball pitch, showers, irons and gazebo-like-tents for sleeping in. Each day we had a delicious breakfast fry up at the Junior Ranks Mess and dinner there as well. Lunch was usually packed lunch.
Upon arrival camp in the ATC, we were split into two flights, A and B, who would be doing different things each day. Throughout the week, we did activities, such as Ex. Wrekin Havok, which was a walk up the Wrekin in teams, whilst answering questions and trying to reach the top in the time we had said it would take us. We also visited sections of RAF Shawbury, like the ATC tower, as well as a visit to RAF Cosford for a look around the museum and to go on air experience flights. By the end of the week, most of us had also achieved either our Basic or Intermediate Swimming Competence Certificate and passed our Weapons Handling Test on the L144A. In the evenings, we did uniform upkeep, sport, swimming and bowling, which were all enjoyable.
On the penultimate full day, we had an inter-flight drill competition, which we had been practising for during the week. The competition was marked by one of the Warrant Officers on the base, who was also one of the drill instructors. The results were very close as both teams performed exquisitely, however, fortunately for me, it was B flight that won! As we had won, we were then treated to a flight in the Juno, which is a training helicopter used at RAF Shawbury!
On the final full day, the whole camp travelled to an indoor waterpark called Waterworld for a day out. That evening was very relaxing as there was no pressure to have a perfectly ironed uniform or bulled shoes for the next day. After a game of Staff vs Cadets football, we had a formal presentation and awards were given out, followed by paper-plate awards. The next day we would be travelling back home.
By Cdt Runyard