This being the first camp of the school
year, it was also the first camp for the recruits. We set off after school on Friday, with a load of excited third years,
to Strensall Camp (near York).
When we got there we unloaded all of our
kit and took it into the barracks we had been assigned, then it was time for tea which everyone was grateful for after a long
journey. We then returned to the drill square where we were briefed on what was to happen during the course of the weekend
and what we had to do that evening (sorting out our kit for the next day) and then we were dismissed. The girls were shown
to their accommodation and everyone busily sorted out their things so that they could go to the NAAFI where we could buy drinks,
food and just sit and chat with our friends. It was then an early night in preparation for the next day.
An early rise followed by breakfast, and
the recruits didn’t look quite so full of energy anymore. Another briefing about the day that was to follow and then
the shooting team were split off from the rest. The shooting team was to zero rifles that morning on the ranges in preparation
for the competition the next day. The rest were to do field craft lessons so they could take part in the exercise that evening.
When we arrived at the ranges we all busily
practiced our shooting skills, with periodic visits from the others to look at the rifles being fired (the first time for
many). It was then back to camp for lunch, which was followed by some drill training for the recruits. It was then off to
the training area where the sections were practicing for that evening and the shooting team (the enemy for now) surveyed the
area they were going to work in.
We then went back to camp, had tea, and
collected together what we needed for the following exercise.
Then the evening’s exercise, which
everyone had been looking forward to. The different sections of recruits were patrolling the area to find the enemy base.
We then challenged them and began to fire blank rounds at them and so they had to retreat back to their base. We then put
out 4 torches and they had to use tactical movements and crawling to get to them – the aim was to get to a torch and
take it before we saw them. If any were seen then they were out.
Exercise over, everyone went back to camp,
but the seniors were to then get their stuff and sleep out, so back to the training area it was. We set up camp, most of us
in hammocks, then went to bed as most of us were shooting the next day and needed rest. At 3am we began regretting using our
hammocks as we all woke up frozen, but after warming ourselves up with a hot drink we went back to sleep, then up at 5am to
take down camp and get ready for the day ahead.
We went back to camp, collected the rest
of our kit, helped with cleaning of the accommodation, then went to the shooting competition, and the others went back to
Bradford, all thoroughly tired from a good weekend away.