Challenges, New Skills and Camaraderie on the CCF Field Trips | Epsom College
  • News

Challenges, New Skills and Camaraderie on the CCF Field Trips

Each year, Epsom's CCF contingent conducts an exciting, three-day summer term field trip

Naval Cadets

This year, the Epsom College CCF Navy Section visited HMS Collingwood, HMS Excellent, and Island Barn Reservoir Sailing School.

On Monday, all cadets completed a low ropes confidence course under the instruction of Royal Navy staff, followed by a boat tour of the HMNB dockyard during which cadets saw several Type 45 Destroyers, including: HMS Dragon, the aircraft Carrier HMS Prince Of Wales and RFA Wave Knight.

“We were taught the significance of the core values in the Navy and how they should be used through all we do, as well as some important life lessons in managing stressful and nerve-racking events from experienced naval officers,” said Holly Justice (Year 10).

On Tuesday, junior cadets honed their field gun skills and experienced some of the Royal Navy’s virtual battle training resources. Senior cadets completed exercises in the Damage Repair Instructional Unit (DRIU) and Phoenix Fire Fighting School.

Finally, Wednesday’s trip to Island Barn Reservoir saw cadets take part in a day’s dinghy sailing, putting into practical use some of the skills, concepts and terminology that they have learned over the course of the year.

Lower Sixth students Seren Callaghan and Sophie Clark said: “We were very lucky with the weather which made the field days much more memorable. Thank you to the Epsom Navy staff for arranging such fun and education days and to the Navy Personnel who provided us with such invaluable life experiences.”


“The camp was an invaluable, intense and enjoyable experience for all. It was great to see the cumulation of many skills developed in CCF sessions in one large event. I greatly enjoyed and am appreciative for every moment of it,” said Lower Sixth student, James Mathews.

This year’s RAF summer camp was an exciting and memorable experience. All cadets had a great time practising shooting blank rounds and putting their stealth training to use. The first day started with a short hike over to the RAF’s campsite, before lessons on applying camouflage paint, moving with weapons and shelter building. In the evening, they completed a lesson on cooking ration packs, which despite their initial apprehension, were enjoyed by most. 

On the second day, the cadets further enhanced their stealth abilities as well as their first experience with shooting blank ammunition. In the evening, the RAF defended their camp against the Army cadets attempting to gather intel, this was a fun and intense experience for all.

On the third and final morning, RAF and Army cadets faced off one final time in various mocked-up situations, culminating in a final intense showdown with pyrotechnics. The final barbeque went down well with all cadets, ensuring morale was kept high and it provided an opportunity for a debrief. 

Lower Sixth student, Charissa Kwok, said: “This experience was very enlightening and I have come back to the College as a new person, having engaged in many activities from orienteering and patrolling, to the fierce battle between the Army and RAF sections on the last day.”


Amelia Jallot (Year 10) reported:

The first day brought some adjustment as we got used to the ration packs and the forest floor in Bramley training camp. The Army section’s morale was high, and there was much bonding as we applied camouflage paint and swapped ration packs for our favourites.

Our training started almost immediately as we were guided through many different activities in our teams; from military formations to tactical and survival skills; which resulted in our first patrol of the area that evening.  Tuesday offered a full day of fieldcraft activities, including rifle exercises that prepared us for silent recces of the “enemy.”

“We were enriched in a variety of different lessons, from air rifle shooting to battle preparation —we absorbed it all,” said pupil Caspar Maxwell Randeria, Year 10

By the evening, we made our first reconnaissance trip to the RAF camp, and we were undetected such was our accurate formation and camouflage in the forest. We even made it within touching distance of a chinook without being spotted.  Wednesday brought an opportunity to consolidate our fieldcraft and formation skills and practise all we had learned. The afternoon ended with a fantastic barbecue.

Despite the fatigue, grubbiness, and sore feet we came back bonded, resilient, and thoroughly prepared for the next stage in our CCF training. A collective huge “thank you” to all the staff who took the time to carefully teach, guide and train us so brilliantly.