BUSY SUMMER FOR WHITBY CADETS
A summer of camps, qualifications, fun and more
Members of 740 Whitby Squadron Air Cadets have had a busy summer attending camps all around the county and overseas. The squadron was even lucky enough to host international cadets and show them what Whitby and the UK has to offer.
These camps have included courses where cadets have undertaken lessons and training to achieve qualifications, while others have looked at life on RAF bases as well as taking part in outdoor adventurous activities and experiencing and learning about local culture and history.
Flight Sergeant Wharrick was one of only ten cadets in the region to gain a place on the national cyber course held at RAF Cosford in July. The course was delivered by cyber specialists at No.1 Radio School and covered content on the use and configuration of networks, cyber warfare and protecting information from cyber attacks. After passing the final assessment at the end of the week FS Wharrick was presented with the gold cyber award by the Chief of Air Staff from HQ Air Cadets during a graduation ceremony alongside the other successful cadets. It was a challenging yet very enjoyable course covering a range of detailed topics. The course showed the cadets how vulnerable information in cyber space can be if left unprotected but also the positives and benefits to the ever developing world of cyber.
Also in July three Whitby cadets joined other cadets from Central and East Yorkshire Wing at RAF Spadaedam for a week long camp. Cadets stayed in RAF accommodation on the base and took part in many activities and visits. The on base visits allowed cadets to look around the different sections and explore the different job roles that the RAF has to offer. Cadets also enjoyed many days out off base at local attractions and sites of interest, the visit to Solway Aviation Museum being a highlight. Cadets Allick, Beaumont and Corporal Nicholls had a great week away gaining valuable and memorable experience.
August saw another week long camp where Cadets Beaumont, Brew, Brown, Maud, Corporals Harcourt and Welford and Cadet Warrant Officer Swales travelled to Altcar Training Camp to join over 100 cadets from the Wing. Altcar camp varies from a typical camp on an RAF base as there is a greater focus on adventure training, outdoor activities and leadership tasks. Kayaking, a high ropes course and many sports sessions were just a selection of the many activities that made up an action packed week away. Cadets spent a day on the range and were trained in field craft skills and technique, this led on to a night exercise in the field with many missions to complete. It was the first time attending a camp for many of the cadets; all had a fantastic time and look forward to experiencing many more.
Cadets with a keen interest and great talent in music have the opportunity to be selected to play in the Nation Concert Band, Marching Band or Choir. Cpl Welford joined the trombone section of the Air Cadet’s National Concert Band this summer. The first part of the week was spent at RAF College Cranwell where the 36 cadets from across the country who comprise the RAFAC National Concert Band gathered to practice and rehears in preparation for their big public performance at the end of the week. The concert was held at St. Clement Danes the Central Church of the Royal Air Force in London, the band showcased a range of pieces including famous marches and modern hits from The Greatest Showman and left the audience amazed at their high standard of musical talent. Cpl Welford is among the most talented musicians in RAF Air Cadets, representing Whitby at national level.
Whitby squadron was lucky enough to have a cadet represent the Air Cadets abroad on an overseas camp to Sennelager, Germany. Once cadets have attended a week long camp in the UK they are eligible to apply for a place on overseas camps. After a tough and competitive selection process Flight Sergeant Wharrick was awarded a place on the camp, staying on a military base near Paderborn. It was a long journey by coach and ferry to get there but was well worth it: some of the most memorable visits were to the Mőhne Damn, the site of the infamous Dam Busters raid and the Luftwaffe Base Faβberg where cadets had a tour of the CH53 helicopters. Other visits allowed cadets to experience German culture with a trip to Celle, a picturesque town with baroque style buildings and chance to try some thrilling activities at a local theme park, a high ropes course and swimming. It was a great opportunity to visit sites of such historic interest, meet cadets from the region and broaden understanding of international air forces.
It was a pleasure for the squadron to host international cadets this summer. Members of the Civil Air Patrol, the American equivalent of the Air Cadets stayed with host families in Whitby for a week and were given the opportunity to visit local and British attractions with trips to London, York and a day sightseeing in Whitby. The American Cadets attended a parade night at Whitby Squadron and cadets were able to ask questions about the Civil Air Patrol and compare the two organisations. The Civil Air Patrol representatives then joined cadets on camp at Altcar to continue their visit on the exchange programme. This followed on from last year when two members from the squadron took part in the exchange to America. The visit from the Civil Air Patrol cadets has inspired many of the Whitby cadets to get involved with the programme next year and keep the connection between the two organisations strong.
In between residential camps, cadets have enjoyed days out with the squadron at Sunderland Air Show, GoApe and a session of archery.
Despite the cadets’ busy schedule, they were able to support the Whitby Regatta weekend with lots of fundraising activities and the running of a recruitment stall. Cadets displayed the range of events and activities that RAF Air Cadets has to offer and shared their experiences with the public. It was a very successful weekend and the squadron would like to thank everyone who donated throughout the weekend.
The final adventure of the summer holidays saw a team of four cadets set out on their qualifying silver Duke of Edinburgh expedition in the Peak District where they walked over 16 km each day for three days and camping over night. This was a self sustained expedition requiring the cadets to cook their own meals and carry their own tent and essentials as well as navigate the route. It was a tough few days but all four cadets enjoyed the views of the Peak District and all have successfully passed the expedition. Congratulations to Cadets Allick, Beaumont and Corporals Nicholls and Roper.
It is never an ordinary summer holiday for members of the Air Cadets with lots of activities to get involved with and qualifications and experience to be gained. If you are aged 12 and in year 8 (or above) at school and would like to take part in the same activities and more, come to a squadron parade night (Monday and Thursday) from 7:30pm to see what else the air cadets can offer you.
More information can be found and get in touch via the squadron website whitbyaircadets.co.uk
Our open night is on Monday 23rd September and anyone wanting to find out more should attend. A place needs to be booked and this can be done via our website.
Article written by Cadet Flight Sergeant Charlotte Wharrick
740 (Whitby) Squadron, ATC
Regional Commandant North - Air Cadets
Royal Air Force Air Cadets