Twenty six members of George Heriot’s School CCF spent six days of their October break embarking on Adventure Training in the Lake District. For many it was their first experience of adventure sports outside and every member of the party was looking forward to the challenges which lay ahead. The expedition had three main objectives; teamwork and team bonding; to learn new skills and to become enthused by the outdoor world – whilst, of course, having fun!
Travel to the Lake District was without incident and it was not long before the cadets were settled in their new home for the week. Based in Patterdale, at the Langton Adventure Centre, the group was well situated to make good use of the surrounding opportunities. The staff and training providers were extremely thorough in their preparation of each day’s activity; ensuring safety and progression were always paramount.
Each day, three separate groups set off to undertake different activities. These included canyoning; climbing; scrambling; abseiling and via ferrata and offered the chance to learn new skills and reinforce previous learning. Many of the cadets had cited a fear of heights in a pre-expedition questionnaire and this was successfully addressed by many during the trip.
Canyoning proved to be a very popular experience for many. Although most were very cold by the end (it was October!), everyone had a fantastic day out descending the ghylls and GHS CCF would recommend anyone to give this particular activity a go.
Via ferrata was also a very popular event – although much shorter than the routes that are found in Europe, this experience was widely championed and many have come back to Edinburgh with the plan of convincing parents to take them to the Dolomites on family holidays!
During the evenings the cadets were not left to rest on their laurels and were involved in group activities; problem solving; team games and a night walk. The expedition came to a crescendo on the last day of training when the group visited the very atmospheric Cathedral Quarry, where they were challenged by the 120ft abseil into the quarry and extraction through the old mines.
The CO and expedition leader were very pleased to have met all the aims of the expedition and felt that they had exceeded their expectations and achieved a great deal of citizenship training, as well as compounding military training.
It is now the Training Officer’s intention to encourage cadets to book onto Adventure Training courses with Cadet Centre for Adventurous Training (CCAT).
Ulysses Trust must be thanked for their generous support and financial backing, without such the cadets would not have been able to have such a tremendous package and fulfilling week.
Mention must also go to the external instructors, led by the very accommodating Alyn Griffiths of High Points and supported by the excellent Ben Bryant.
Captain M Hawkins
George Heriot’s School CCF