We all arrived at school to glorious sunshine looking forward to the week ahead of us, although it didn&'t really get
off to a good start with the coach turning up late. Once we were off though everyone seemed to liven up a bit, even thought
it was a 5 hour journey.
We arrived to see our instructors for the week stood watching us, and after we had unloaded the coach we were shown to
our accommodation, all of which had juts been refurbished and 2 of the rooms even had TVs with DVD players to keep us entertained
in the evenings. We then got food and got a talk from the instructors on safety and rules of the camp etc, and then we all
got given some kit on loan to use that week (such as bivvy bags and bergens) and some uniform we cud keep, which meant that
for once our whole contingent was in 95 kit and looked half decent. Then it was free time which most people seemed to use
by watching TV.
The first morning was an early start and we woke up to a very hot day and a day of lessons on fiedlcraft which did not
seem like fun with the hot weather. Nevertheless we set off on the march across the airfield wondering how hard the instructors
would be on us, being used to training young army recruits. The lessons turned out to be good, although for most of us they
were just stuff we had done before, but it meant that they knew we were capable of more for the final ex. With the hot sun,
and us not really being prepared enough, many people got burnt faces, that didn't happen many days after that though. After
a fairly long day in the field we were taken back to camp where we were given food and then had to clean ourselves followed
by a lesson in first aid. Fortunately enough people had various products to help people remove the cam cream which had melted
to our faces in the heat.
On the Monday we had range day. Range days are good when you are actually firing but for the most part it is waiting around.
Firstly we got a firepower demonstration of the LSW and GP rifle and then we were split down into our sections where we zeroed
our rifles and then did the GP classification. Then in the afternoon it was too hot for us to do the march and shoot competition
and so we simply did a falling plates shooting comp, which was good fun. We then got back fairly early and had a lot of free
Tuesday was the day of adventurous training for us. Firstly we were to do kayaking in the morning. We used open canoes
in twos and single kayaks and played various games to get used to manoeuvring them, and then at the end there was a mass "every
man for himself" as everyone tried to sink everyone else, with barely anyone at all making it to shore without having
being sunk at some point. Then in the afternoon we were to do skiing at the fake ski slope they have. We were all measured
for skis and got boots, and then we were split down into 2 groups - one of beginners and one of people that has been skiing
before. Although it was goof un most people got far too hot in the sun in long sleeves on the slope and so as the afternoon
went on there were less and less people on the slopes.
Wednesday brought about the day most people had been looking forward to most of all. In the morning we used the DCCT range,
which is a video simulation, using the SA80 rifle that you use to practise firing using various scenarios, which is good fun
and calculates each firers score. In the afternoon though was probably the best part of the whole camp - the helicopter rides.
We were all walked out to the airfield where we were then split down into groups of 3. The helicopter then landed and the
pilot talked to us a bit about us and gave us a safety briefing. Then each group of three took it in turns to go up for a
10 minute ride which was amazingly good. The pilot flew quite high for some groups to show them how high they fly without
oxygen, which was good fun. However sitting in the sun for 3 hours with no shade was a bit tiresome, and we were made to go
on a run at some point because we had "too much energy", but it was well worth it. We then had to eat really quickly
so that we could then go and do our PT evening, consisting of potted sports, which were a number of different mini games that
each team went round, adding up their scores for the section competition which had been running all week. Most people seemed
to enjoy it as it was something different to the usual football and volleyball combination we usually do on summer camps.
In the evening we then got a briefing on what kit we needed to take with us on the ex the next day, with strong hints on the
fact that if you forgot anything then your whole section would be punished, needless to say the section ICs made sure that
everyone had everything.
On Thursday morning everyone was up ready to go on the 24 hour ex which had been planned by our instructors, putting to
use everything we had learned in the past few days. We all put our bergens on the Bedford truck and then we ourselves marched
over the airfield where we all cammed up and received our ammunition before patrolling into out harbour position that we would
be using. Then we started the lessons of that day on section attacks, patrolling, hand signals, navigation exercise and a
lesson on the ration packs we would be using for the 24 hours. It was then into the evening and the main start of our ex.
Each section sent out recce patrols to find out about the enemy position and through the night each section had sentries out
to make sure no uninvited visitors came into our harbour.
Early on Friday morning however we got attacked by the enemy who chucked numerous smoke grenades at us and then ran away.
We all had to pack up and bug out as quickly as we could and then we had to sort out our admin again and cam up and get more
ammo if we needed it. Then we moved out again to attack the enemy position. This all went well and the instructors said how
pleased they were with our efforts. All tired and dirty we went back to camp to have a wash and then in the afternoon we were
to do the assault course. Everyone made a good effort even though most people were very tired from a sleepless night. We then
had the prize presentation where various awards were given out, including that for the overall winning section, which was
1 Section, headed by SGT Collett. Then the promotions for BDR and above where given out for next yr. We then had to pack all
our stuff up to go home the following day and clean up the billets, then we had our last evening of free time and then we
all went to bed, shattered after a long hard week.