Rosie’s summer CCF adventures
Year 11 pupil, Rosie, writes about her summer of adventure with Clayesmore’s CCF:
“Generally through the summer I stay with my family, whether that’s at home or on a skiing holiday to France. This year I decided to take three amazing opportunities that were offered to me through the CCF, Annual Summer, a diving course in Plymouth and gaining an official diving qualification and to go all the way to Baveria to spend a week doing different activities with teenagers my age from all over the UK. All the trips introduced me to things that I had never done before, and let me meet some of the most amazing people from England, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
First the CCF deployed to an Army camp on the edge of Dartmoor called Okehampton used as a staging point for all types of military training and the base for the 10 Tors competition. 6 CCF Contingents from around the country sent groups to take part in a varied and exiting week of military training. Included was a day’s Adventure Training windsurfing, raft building and a fantastic high ropes course. We had a full day and night living under improvised shelters where we carried out section attacks and an ambush using blank rounds and smoke grenades. We also gained our CCF radio users badge in a session that taught us how to use military radios and a full day on the ranges firing live rounds and lots of other background activities. The week culminated in a competition, the Wyvern Challenge, when we were tested on the all aspects of the weeks training and pitted against other sections from our own and other Contingents. The week was extremely challenging but very rewarding and it was great to mix with cadets from other CCF units.
My next adventure was the diving course, which consisted of me fumbling around in the shallow end of a swimming pool trying not to fall over because of the giant tank on my back (safe to say it took me some practise to actually stand up). My instructor was Clayesmore’s Mr Rockett, who – surprisingly – was a lot different to how he was at school (a lot more relaxed!) I was buddied with a boy with whom I quickly came to be great friends with. Throughout the week we progressed doing different drills and practicing lifesaving, gradually increasing the depth in the swimming pool. Mid-way through the week we went to a local quarry where we practiced diving down to as deep as 20m. Although cold, I saw some amazing sights like an old helicopter and a transit van (which we got to swim through) deep under the surface. We stayed in a big building with loads of things to do in the evenings, but the main excitement after a day diving was going to the shop on the base to get more sweets and popcorn! I finished the course with an official diving qualification which was pretty cool considering I never thought I could dive let alone get an actual qualification for it!
A few weeks later I was off to Bavaria (at the time I had no idea where that was, I soon learned it was on the border of Germany and Austria) Where do I start?! Looking back I can honestly say this was one of the best things I have ever done in my entire life! I’ll start right from the beginning. 10 hours on a coach with complete strangers sounds absolutely horrendous but you’d be surprised how much you can find out about people being in that situation! After hours and hours of getting to know other people my age, stopping at every service station for MORE FOOD (recurring theme you can see), I met some of the most amazing and friendly teenagers from all over the UK, that I would soon become extremely close with in the coming week. In the week we did loads of different activities like open-water canoeing, rock climbing and canyoneering. Although I had done some of the activities before, I loved every second of them and learnt new skills to take forward in life. We stayed in a little town in a big accommodation block which had loads of stuff to do like a pool table and table tennis. In the evenings we got lots of free time to do whatever we wanted and hang out with the other teenagers in different activity groups. Although the week was just a chance to try new things for pure fun, I learnt so much about different cultures and facts about different areas of Germany, and also Northern Ireland and Scotland through the other teenagers.
These two experiences were absolutely amazing and I am so grateful to have been given the opportunity to go on them as part of the CCF. Reflecting, I would go back and do both trips all over again in a heartbeat, to be back with the incredible people and to learn all of the skills that will help me through life both physically and socially. I would 100% recommend all of the trips for anyone interested in trying new things and broadening their knowledge and social capabilities in a fun and eventful atmosphere.”