Upper Fourth and Lower Sixth pupils and accompanying staff attended the annual CCF camp this week. The pupils undertook a variety of exercises and drills, testing their initiative, communication, discipline and teamwork.
This year’s CCF Royal Navy Summer Camp saw the Upper Fourth cadets and Lower Sixth NCOs embark on three separate day trips.
On Monday 20 June, the section travelled to HMS Excellent in Portsmouth to undertake afloat training on a variety of vessels. Some cadets experienced operating a yacht under sail in the Solent and developed their seamanship skills. Other cadets piloted motorboats over to the Isle of Wight, developing their navigational skills on the way.
On Tuesday 21 June, the cadets travelled to Chatham Historic Dockyards where they experienced traditional rope making, tours of the diesel-electric submarine HMS Ocelot, the C-Type Destroyer HMS Cavalier, and the ironclad warship HMS Gannet. Highlights of the day included a model boat building competition involving a wave tank, a rocket construction and firing workshop and a visit to the covered rope room, possibly the largest room in existence.
On Wednesday 22 June, the Royal Navy section journeyed to HMS Collingwood, one of the Royal Navy’s onshore training establishments. Cadets completed the assault course and low ropes course utilised by RN ratings and officers in their training. Whilst challenging at times, the cadets rose to the occasion and impressed the supervising RN staff with their teamwork, mutual support and perseverance.
The cadets conducted themselves admirably throughout this three-day camp which took place in glorious sunshine and was ably assisted by Lt Cdr Greenbury and SLt Saul.
On three glorious, hot and sunny days the cadets, NCOs and Staff of the Shephard cup, enjoyed day trips to Imperial War Museum Duxford, Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and internal training at the College.
The trip to Duxford was both inspiring and educational. There was a truly enormous amount to see from the famous American Air Museum, to a vast Airspace display, to a Battle of Britain hanger and much more besides. It was full of surprises from a piece of the Historic Berlin Wall to seeing a piece of steelwork from the collapsed World Trade Centre.
The Royal Military Academy Sandhurst is arguably the best Military Academy in the World. The Cadets were lucky enough to start the day with a poignant and sentimental service in the Academy’s Chapel. This was followed by Command tasks in the grounds, and tours of the Old and New Colleges.
Whether cadets and NCOs may, or may not, want to go into the Army, it proved a wonderful experience.
The final day was a culmination of the Shephard Cup training with competitions in drill, shooting and the confidence course. Drill was won by Highwood Platoon, led by Arthur van Grondelle, the shooting was won by Messines Platoon led by Alice Griffin and the Confidence Course challenge was won by Halloween, led by Alex Key.
Army Advanced Infantry
On Monday 20 June 29 cadets underwent Weapon Handling Training and subsequently all 29 passed their Weapon Handling Testing in the afternoon. This will allow all cadets to now fire blank rounds on the October Field Exercise, Green Warrior.
On Tuesday and Wednesday, the Advanced Infantry then deployed to Frylands wood near Croydon for an overnight bushcraft trip. Cadets took part in a range of leadership and command tasks. Activities included orienteering, archery, bushcraft food foraging, firefighting workshop, shelter building, trapping and platoon-level patrolling techniques. All cadets had a great time, interacted well as a platoon and had fun camping out and on occasions putting themselves outside of their comforts zone.
Four students from our RAF unit had a golden opportunity to go for a flying day trip on 16 June. All cadets, Theo Maxwell-Randeria, Justin Yu, Skye Koczias and Hugo Collingridge travelled by College minibus to the RAF Benson airbase where they were briefed about safety and emergency precautions and procedures for their flying experience. All cadets were kitted up for flying and introduced to the RAF Pilot Mr Bourn.
We were blessed with an ideal weather conditions on this day and all cadets spent nearly 30 minutes inside the cockpit. They were in control of Grob Tutor 115 plane and tried various manoeuvres including loop the loop and the barrel roll. All cadets were allowed to safely use their mobile cameras to capture the scenic beauty of Oxford and its suburbs from the cockpit.