1358 – ‘Odyssey 12’ – Brecon Beacons

Introduction. Odyssey 2012 was a Tri-Service Cadet Adventure Training (AT) expedition conducted in the Brecon Beacons from 11 to 17 Aug 12. Sponsored by the Ulysses Trust, but fully funded by The Worshipful Company of Weavers, it was organised and run by Sqn Ldr White, OC 2620 Sqn Royal Auxiliary Air Force Regiment. The aim of the expedition was to give Navy, Army and Air Force cadets the opportunity to undertake 8 separate AT activities over a 5-day period, with the aspiration that this might encourage them to become more involved with, and perhaps organise, AT in their future military or civilian careers.

Participants. The event was run from a self-catering bunk-barn near Talgarth in the Brecon Beacons; it comprised the following personnel:Five Sea Cadets and one Sea Cadet Civilian Adult Volunteer (CAV); these came from across the whole of the UK.Five Army Cadet Force (ACF) cadets and one ACF CAV; these came just from the Hampshire and Isle of Wight area.Four Air Trg Corps (ATC) Cadets and 2 ATC CAVs; these came entirely from the Chesterfield ATC Sqn.Sqn Ldr White and Cpl Howie of 2620 Sqn RAuxAF Regt; these were the expedition organiser / instructors.

AT Activities. The activities undertaken were hill-walking, mountain-biking, canoeing on the River Wye, sailing, caving, gulley-scrambling, indoor climbing and a high ropes course. Each group undertook each of these activities, with the exception on one group which missed out on the caving morning but managed to book a horse riding session instead. The hill-waking, mountain-biking and some of the climbing activities were lead by Sqn Ldr White and Cpl Howie, the remainder were ‘bought-in’ from local companies, often at a discounted rate for the military. The whole event went very well indeed, and there were no mishaps or injuries. The CAVs and the Visitors all enjoyed the event immensely and were confident that the AT aims of the expedition had been met.

Evening Activity. On some evenings, particularly after the harder days, the cadets were allowed to relax, listen to music and play indoor games; however, on 3 evenings, they were able to learn archery in an adjacent field and on another evening a music quiz was conducted.

Conclusion. In conclusion, the expedition was a huge success, and it achieved its aims. All of the cadets and the CAVs enjoyed the experience and clearly benefitted from it. Furthermore, correspondence received from visitors indicates that they too were impressed with the event and the way it had been run. It is gratifying to note that the ACF and TC participants have already begun planning for a joint overseas AT expedition to be run in 2013.

Acknowledgements. All of the participants are most grateful to the Ulysses Trust for sponsoring the expedition and to the Worshipful Company of Weavers for providing the most generous financial support.

Sqn Ldr Jonathan White.

With thanks to:

Ulysses Trust

In partnership with:

Nuffield Trust