CCF Adventure Training in Cumbria
3 July 2017
On Thursday 15 June, 38 Stowe 4th Form Stowe CCF Army and Navy cadets slipped happily away from Stowe and the last of their end of year exams and headed up to Preston for a few days to enjoy Cumbria’s rivers and caves.
RAF Cadet Training Centre INSKIP, Preston provided comfortable accommodation and excellent food and was the base from which we set out early each day to enjoy adrenaline -fuelled, refreshingly icy watery fun.
Day one: Amber Capurro (Queen’s) writes:
After our first night on camp we set off early in the morning to a river in Cumbria where we the spent the first half of our day learning how to paddle board. But not only did we learn the simple trade of stand up paddle boarding we learnt tricks such as the pivot turn, we played paddle board polo and we attempted stand up paddle boarding on a massive board for 15 or more people, needless to say lots of us fell into the water after attempting to show off. Nevertheless this activity was by far my favourite and we have all taken away a skill that will come in handy again at some point in our lives. We also got to take part in jumping off some rocks on the side and climbing through the slow rapids to give us a taster for the next day’s activities to come. After we left the river we went back to the base, recovered from our shivers, changed our wetsuits and set off for caving. Caving was challenging for some and exhilarating for others but was rewarding for all. Some struggled to fit through the small gaps due to their fears but with the help of others we all managed to complete the tasks and move through a total of four caves all with their own challenges. After plenty of jokes and games and a quick stop at the shops we headed back to the camp where we had our supper, watched a film and had a well-deserved rest after a busy day of activities.
Day two: Thor Mager (Bruce) writes:
On Saturday 17th of June the CCF 4th form Army and Navy Cadets travelled to Beasley Falls River, Ingleton, Cumbria to take part in some exciting adventure training including Ghyll scrambling and waterfall jumping. To start off with we got used to the freezing temperatures of Cumbria's rivers and built up our confidence jumping off some low lying rocks. We then scrambled our way up the river falling over a rock every time we decided it was too cold to swim. This beginning part was personally a tricky task, trying to get my stepping right with the dark water not helping. The first challenge was trying to swim right through a waterfall with tonnes of water pounding down from what felt like was miles high. All of the boys braced ourselves to face to the challenge but in the end realised we had no chance. However this was an enjoyable challenge for everyone. After some walking in our heavy wetsuits with the cloud blocking the 10am morning Cumbrian sun, we were soon back in the water. We tackled many jumps plunging in from heights of buses into the fresh water with our buoyancy aids bouncing straight into our necks as soon as we had landed from 2 seconds of air time at incredible speeds. The jumps were popular with everyone and we all were brave enough to tackle the finishing and most challenging jump. The boys especially were excited for every jump big or small they just craved the adrenaline rushing through their body when they entered feet first into the river. The small slips and slides further down the river made everyone smile after it finished. But some funny and embarrassing faces were displayed when they were dunked underwater by the rush of the water reaching the bottom of the steep nature-created waterslide. Everyone also took part in some abseiling down a vertical slope that was thoroughly enjoyed not just by the experts of the process but also by the beginners. We all had an amazing time on the unforgettable trip and everyone thoroughly enjoyed every bit of it!
Impressively, all 38 cadets rose to every physical challenge set, from squeezing through tiny gaps in cool, clammy, watery caves, to leaping from the safety of firm rock faces to deep, chilly, unknown water below. They were an excellent group with a positive attitude and as well as enjoying the adventure of the activities, were all pushed, mentally and physically, to varying degrees (some firmly, of their comfort zone.)
A very rewarding two days of character development and personal achievement.