30 October 2019

Over half term, myself and 14 other cadets from the CCF travelled to Inskip Cadet Centre on two minibuses for the annual Adventure Training Trip. When we arrived we unpacked our kit, sorted out personal admin and had a talk through the accommodation by a member of staff from the centre. We had dinner, which was amazing throughout the week, some of the best I’ve experienced while on a CCF trip, and got on a minibus to head to the cinema to watch The Joker. Some thought it was good, but some had other different opinions. We then headed back to the Centre and got some rest for the next day.

Saturday saw us get up early and head to Blackpool for a day out. In the morning we spent a few hours at Sandcastle Water Parks, going on the waterslides, then in the afternoon, we went round Blackpool Pleasure Beach, riding on all the rollercoasters. A special mention goes to Leon G who hates Roller Coasters and heights, but went on all of them (even Pepsi Max, which is 253ft high!), and came off with a massive grin on his face.

On the Sunday we got up early to go on a very low intensity scramble up a small ravine. We had lunch and got harnessed up to go caving. We spent a couple of hours in the cave in the Yorkshire Dales, going deep underground and into some very narrow spaces. Captain Edwards was unable to participate as he was picking up two other cadets from Birmingham, but I’m sure he would have loved it like everyone else, who thought it was possibly the best activity of the week.

Monday saw us drive into the Yorkshire Dales again (with most asleep), and a quick stop for hot food and drinks, before starting our canyoning activity. The final ropework part where we had to cross a gap with a 10ft drop below into ice-cold water was very nerve-wracking, but everyone managed it. Yet again, this was very enjoyable, even though everyone was absolutely freezing by the end of it. We quickly got warm and back on the road and all fell asleep yet again.

Tuesday was our ‘day off’, with low ropes, archery and climbing/abseiling in the morning, which all happened at the Cadet Centre. The staff from the Centre was in charge of these activities, and were very kind and helpful in teaching us how to do the activities. In the afternoon we went into Preston to Energi Trampoline Park. This was a very rewarding experience for all of us, as a young autistic child attached himself to our group, and in particular Henry B, who looked after him very well and kept him happy with good company. He joined in our game of hide and seek around the park and his mother was very, very pleased. At the end of our session, we took a photo altogether and Capt Edwards presented his British Army jacket to the young boy, which he happened to be wearing.

We got back to Inskip, quickly ate dinner then went to Cleveleys for our second cinema outing of the trip, to see Gemini Man. This got much more positive feedback than The Joker, and was a good end to a rewarding day.

On the morning of Wednesday, we drove to Hodge Close Quarry, an old slate quarry in the Lake District. We abseiled down a sixty metre rockface into the quarry, and a few people got over their fear of heights, mainly Henry B and Leon G. After the abseil, we got kitted up in wetsuits to go to Coniston to do a ghyll scramble up and down, which included standing under a few waterfalls and feeling the power of the water. The scramble was very good as it was fairly non-stop, so you didn’t have a chance to stand still and get cold, like the canyoning where you had to wait for a while. There were some small jumps and to finish you had to slide down a natural slide that was a flat piece of rock and fall into the stream a few metres below. We got into our warm kit, then headed to the Bluebird Cafe by Coniston Water for a hot chocolate and some cake.

Our final day of activities was a hike up the Old Man of Coniston. Our instructor told us that it was called this because you would go up as a young boy to work in the mines, then come back down an old man. It took us maybe four to five hours to get to the summit, with plenty of breaks in between to eat and to have a drink. The views going up and coming down were very picturesque, but sadly the summit was covered in cloud, so you couldn’t see the view from the summit. Everyone was in high spirits throughout the day, and it was a great end to our adventure training week. Back at Inskip, we ordered kebabs and pizza and watched Lone Survivor in the lounge in the Centre which is based on a true story of US Navy Seals on an operation in Afghanistan called Operation Red Wings.

The final day of the trip saw us clean the block we were staying in, have an inspection, then ‘pop smoke’ back to Abingdon as Capt Edwards would say. Once back at Abingdon, we unpacked our kit off the buses, cleaned them, then were free to go.

Overall, this was a thoroughly enjoyable trip, and when asked if they would like to come again, every single person put their hands up, even the Senior Cadet who won’t even be here next year! It was a very memorable trip and one of the best available, and was chilled and relaxed, which gets you away from the military aspect of CCF for a bit, which can be nice.

I would like to say a big thank you to the staff from Inskip Cadet Centre, the chef who cooked such delicious food and the Yorkshire Adventure Company, which was the company we used. They were absolutely amazing and the instructors were all very kind and chatty. Most importantly though, we need to thank Squadron Leader Cottam and Captain Edwards, who without them, these amazing trips wouldn’t be able to happen.


Written by Jamie Firth, Fourth Year

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