Taunton School Main Building at Dusk

Devon Adventures: Combined Cadet Force & Duke of Edinburgh Activity Week

Posted: 15th July 2018

Six students attended the Combined Cadet Force (CCF) Summer Camp and combined it with their Duke of Edinburgh Award. This is the story of their week:

“On Friday afternoon, we kitted up and headed up to Yoxter to join Wells Cathedral School on Exercise: Wells Cathedral Defender. This was mixed training with both basic and advanced cadets being taught and practicing infantry skills up, including section attacks. The exercise was very successful and the cadets enjoyed mixing with the other school and working as a single unit.”

“On Sunday we travelled to Langstone Manor campsite where we then had a free evening.”

“Monday saw us do two activities. The first was an unaccompanied walk to locate a campsite for our wild camp, where we would be pitching our tents in the wilderness. Our group had a tracker and we were tracked by the D of E staff for our award. We finished our walk in Princetown and had a bite to eat in the café. Later that afternoon we went to The Barn Climbing Centre, an indoor wall on a farm just outside of Tavistock. We thoroughly enjoyed both climbing and bouldering. We stopped for fish and chips on the way back to the campsite.”

“On Tuesday we went coast-steering, which was run by Adelong Adventure. We received a call about twenty minutes into our journey to say the swell in Torbay was too large due to a change in wind direction and that we would go to a place actually called Start Point instead. This meant a longer journey. When we got there, we changed and walked down to the coastline. Our session lasted three hours and it consisted of scrambling, climbing, jumping and swimming our way around the coast. The highest jump was between 15-20 feet but there would have been an opportunity to do some bigger jumps in Ansty’s Cove, Torbay, if we had gone there instead. Everyone enjoyed the day and most of us had to think twice at some point. We all enjoyed seeing seals up close along the way and the minibus was extremely quiet on the way back as we were really tired. We stopped for a McDonalds on the way back. We had originally planned to wild camp on Tuesday night but there was the small matter of a football match (something about the World Cup) so the plan changed and everyone watched the game in the campsite restaurant.”

“On Wednesday we were with Adelong again but, this time, for some caving. We drove to Pridhamsleigh Cavern and met with Charlie, the Adelong man, put on our suits and wellies and walked the short distance to the entrance. This was an interesting experience for all of us as none of us had been caving before and we were venturing in to the unknown. It was scarier than just jumping in the sea. The caves are pretty good in Devon. Caving was great and we were tested – we even had a section where we led everyone else and we ended getting wet up to the neck! Some great teamwork meant that everyone did everything, even the maggot hole!”

“On Thursday morning, we had bacon sandwiches for breakfast before packing up the bus to head out on our wild camp. We walked from Sharpitor to Nuns Cross via Gutter Tor Refuge, about 15km overall on a very warm afternoon. We did all the navigation ourselves and eventually reached our camp location at 1900. We then cooked our own food and were eventually forced into our tents by the amount of midges. We were instructed to be up for 0600 and ready to move at 0700 but we were all tired and so Mr Nicholson and Mr Wood left the campsite safe in the knowledge that we knew where we were and where to go. After breakfast back in Princetown, we got on the bus and returned to the School, where we dried the tents, washed the pans and packed all the kit away.”

“We all thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and would love it again in the future.”

Categories: Blog Senior