The summer holidays got off to an energetic start for East Antrim Cadets with a fortnight of fun at Annual Camp at Otterburn near Newcastle.
A packed programme of sport, adventure and outdoor pursuits helped the motivated teens to build confidence and resilience and take on new skills, making great summer memories in the process.
Colonel Adrian Donaldson, MBE, VR,DL Commandant of the First (Northern Ireland) Battalion Army Cadet Force, said: “Those of us who are parents know all too well how difficult it can be to prise teenagers away from social media and into the fresh air, but these young people have been showing a real appetite for ‘the Great Outdoors’”.
He said the Cadets were up for every challenge thrown at them “bringing incredible energy and enthusiasm – and great good humour – to all kinds of new sports and outdoor pursuits”.
Colonel Donaldson said: “They may be out of school, but at Annual Camp they are still learning something new every day and, just as importantly, they are making lasting and supportive friendships. For our members, Annual Camp continues to be a highlight of the Cadet year, but it is also much appreciated by parents who see it as a great opportunity for their teenagers to let off steam and enjoy themselves after a tough year in school. Providing those opportunities, complete with expert tuition and supportive, professional supervision, would stretch most family budgets but Camp is affordable fun and, as a matter of policy, we aim to ensure that all our activities are either low cost or totally free.
“We even provide free uniforms! As our Cadets might say, ‘What’s not to love?,’” said Colonel Donaldson.
At Camp, Cadets are surrounded by friends old and new and, together, they are encouraged and supported to try new activities and learn new skills.
Every accomplishment builds confidence and, in the longer term, Cadet membership will also help them to compile achievement-packed CVs which will help them when they are ready to apply for university or college, or take the first steps into the world of work. Cadet membership is open to boys and girls from age 12 to 18 years.
At the end of this summer, the Cadets from East Antrim will help drive a campaign seeking new recruits. (Army Cadets) Whitehouse ACF meet at the Army Reserve Centre, Abbotscroft, Newtownabbey, on Thursdays. (RAF Air Cadets) 1919 Squadron N’Abbey meet at the Army Reserve Centre, Abbotscroft, on Thursdays at 7.30pm. To find out more about Cadet membership or to arrange to or visit the website at www.reservesandcadetsni.org.uk