NACATC Windermere Report
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By Cadet Flight Sergeant Lisa Whitaker - 1224 (Wharfedale) Squadron
On the 12th April, I set off for National Air Cadet Adventure Training Centre, Windermere, on a coach along with 27 other cadets. We all quickly got to know each other, which made the rest of the weeks activities a lot easier. The first night concluded us splitting into 3 flights, and each flight being allocated days to help with catering and the first few of our many lessons on topics such as D of E expeditions and route planning.
The first day began with the a basic swimming test and some free time to spend in the pool. Passing the test meant we could go canoeing later on in the week. After that it was straight to Vertical Air, an outdoor high ropes course designed to test our team work and communication skills, as well as give a few of us quite a fright being so high up in the air. The night ended with more lessons, on weather and how to find the right walking boots for you.
We all awoke bright and early for our practise bronze DofE walk on Monday morning. We split into our flights and were given a different route to follow, all heading to the summit of The Old Man of Coniston. The sun was shining as we set out, but it got very chilly at some if the peaks we had to walk to, but eventually, after many gruelling hours of walking up and over numerous hills, we reached the summit, and the view was amazing! You could see all the way to Morecambe Bay.
Tuesday was a very hectic day, comprising of 3 separate activities happening all at once. So each flight departed heading for different destinations, and over the course of the day, we went canoeing (a lot of people fell in) outdoor rock climbing (the best of the three) and camp craft, which helped us gain some useful knowledge for our expedition the next day.
Wednesday and Thursday were our expedition days, starting from Limfit Park, and finishing in Ambleside after stopping the night at a campsite. The weather held out for us during the day but got very windy and wet whilst we all endured a sleepless night. But reaching the finish point at the end was definitely worth it, and for a lot of people it meant their completion of the Bronze D of E.
Friday seemed to be a blur, with some people going off to do mountain biking in a nearby trail, and the rest of us orienteering and cleaning the centre for our departure the next day. The night ended with our DofE Aims presentations, some more serious than others.
Saturday was another hectic day, with everyone needing to be packed, final elements of cleaning to be done and the coach to be packed up. The coach journey gave us all time to catch up on a bit of lost sleep! But also to share memories of the amazing week we had just had.
I would definitely recommended the course to anyone interested in adventure training, as it is a perfect insight into all kinds of outdoor activities.
For more information please visit the Squadron website