Year 10 CCF Exercise at Bovington
CCF Contingent Commander, Major Emma Dorey reflects on this week’s Year 10 CCF training exercise at Bovington Camp:
It seemed incredibly early on Sunday morning when my alarm went off, far earlier than it does on a normal school day. However, the cadets were all chirpy and bright as they were dropped off at Main House at what seemed like the crack of dawn on a non school day. The kit check went smoothly which meant we were ready and raring to go when the coach arrived.
The enthusiasm continued even when the cadets had to walk about a mile into their harbour area carrying all their kit and equipment. 4 section even burst into spontaneous song, such was their delight. It was a steep learning curve for some which included having to develop an instant love of the army rations, yum, as well as a non reliance on all things electrical. They also learned how to react to enemy sightings, which were numerous, and normally involved a suspicious looking member of Clayesmore staff, badly dressed and behaving oddly. After about 20 such sightings, the drills were so slick that no enemy personnel were coming anywhere near camp, Clayesmore staff or not.
It was a testament of the cadets’ spirit the next morning when I walked around asking how they had slept, to hear that some had never slept so well, while others had never slept at all, but “it doesn’t matter Miss because it meant I could listen to the birds as they woke up”. Even when they had to spend nearly two hours on the Obstacle course hurtling themselves over 12 foot walls, through tunnels, over water and under poles, the Clayesmore morale still shone through. I’m sure I heard a small cheer, however,when the coach arrived to take 40 very smelly and very tired cadets back to school.
The dust has now settled and I feel like I have just about caught up on my sleep. I have been amazed and delighted to see the Year 10 cadets smiling and bright around school, the day after returning from quite a tough 36 hour exercise. They all conducted themselves brilliantly and I hope they all look back on the 2 days with happiness, satisfaction and a sense of pride.