Windermere 2016

Cdt Abigail Lockwood-Morris, from 312 (City of Canterbury) Sqn attended the Wing Adventure Training Camp to Windermere in the summer.  As part of her Gold Residential Project, she was tasked […]

Cdt Abigail Lockwood-Morris, from 312 (City of Canterbury) Sqn attended the Wing Adventure Training Camp to Windermere in the summer.  As part of her Gold Residential Project, she was tasked to write an article about the week and what the cadets did.  Below is her article.

Windermere 2016

Kent Wing visited the Lake District again this year from the 27th August to the 3rd September, with 29 cadets taking part in many activities, including kayaking, hiking, archery, orienteering and “Go Ape”.  After arriving at NACATC Windermere, we were put into groups and started planning our day walk routes, for the following morning.
My team lead by Flt Lt Hannah Fulford and Flt Lt Tim Blackwell had a great day trying to find the cave where a man had lived for many years…however we never found that particular one. When reaching one of our peaks of the day, Flt Lt Blackwell and I competed in a race to find a National Trust geocache hidden in the rocks of our peak (I won), then claiming our stickers and writing ‘Kent Wing Air Cadets’ in the logbook. We also ventured a little way into a pitch black cave we found using our torches while water dripped on our heads, after many screams we made our way out safely and finished our descent to our pick up point. The other teams had just as much fun walking different routes:
“The day walk was good, we climbed a few hills and it was a good experience while making new friends” – Cdt Jordan Howes.
“The day walk though hard was definitely worth it to see the scenery and to reach the heights I did” – Cdt Steven Easley
On day two the cadets were split into two groups who took it in turns to do archery, canoeing and kayaking. Flt Lt Jo Blackwell taught everyone archery, playing many archery games and competitions: congratulations to Cpl Jack Beaney who won the archery with the best score! Kayaking and canoeing was fun in the sun, as we paddled across the lake, playing many games and racing against each other; many people fell in and capsized… some on purpose, others not so.
All the cadets thoroughly enjoyed the day:
“Archery and kayaking turned out to be an excellent combination; the opportunity to participate in these activities was great. Learnt an awful lot today”- Sgt Harry Longfield
“During today’s activities, we started with archery where we shot at the target to score as many points as possible, we also shot under controlled conditions, after archery we went to do canoeing and kayaking where we learnt new skills and capsized lots of people”- Cdt Bryony Stout
On day three the cadets were split into three groups who took it in turns to abseil, rock climb and practice camp craft. My group started with abseiling with Flt Lt Hannah Fulford and Sgt ATC Marcos Postill; I decided to go down first, my excitement overcame my nerves and I took all the scenery and excitement in as I slowly abseiled down a steep decline into an old quarry.  Everyone followed with some smiling faces and some very worried looks too, but all in all my favourite part of the day. We then had a recap of the basic camp craft we would be doing while on our expedition, by WO ATC Eddie Johnson and Sqn Ldr Vince Beaney; all the cadets learnt how to put up the tents correctly and how to safely work a Trangia stove. After everyone was pleased with our camp craft, we walked up, to rock climb in another old quarry. All the cadets had a go and managed to complete at least one of the climbs with smiles on their faces:

“Today had an exciting start, which involved abseiling over a steep drop, quite scary! Later the group went climbing and did some basic camp craft. Overall a great day and well worth it!” – Cdt Isaac Carrington
“Today was one of the best days so far, amongst all of the other days of course, to start the day myself and my group went climbing. Climbing was one of my favourite activities of the busy day as I felt I exceeded mainly at this activity. After that we travelled a while to an old quarry where we did a huge abseiling activity, it was so great!” – Cdt Jordan Howes
The next two days were spent doing our expedition. We were split into several groups; the more experienced groups hiked higher and wild camped, whereas the less experienced groups stuck to lower routes and camped at a campsite. My group was led by WO ATC Phil Camp and Flt Lt Hannah Fulford. Day one of the expedition was very long with steep climbs of 250m, my higher team added on an extra two peaks to make a total of nine peaks climbed on the first day, including mountains: Ill Bell (757m), Yoke (706m), Stony Cove Pike (763m) and High Street (828m), there was lots of thick cloud at every peak so we couldn’t see very clearly. After a long first day we arrived at our wild camp, next to ‘Small Water Tarn’, around 18:30pm. Then immediately setting up our bright orange Vango tents on the boggy marshland (yet to find out one of our Cpls forgot parts of his tent, so we had to use string and borrow other peoples pegs) and heating up our ration pack dinner in our Trangias using the water from the stream, we all slept well. On day two of our expedition, we woke up at 07:45am, planning to start walking at 09:00am, and luckily it was dry. Our route was much easier on day two as it was mostly downhill and we were all racing to get back to Windermere base as quick as possible. However, when we got to our pick up point at 12:45pm, there was no signal to call anyone to pick us up…after Cpl Jack Beaney tried many times using the phone box, we finally managed to make contact with Flt Lt Jo Blackwell and were picked up at 02:45pm. “The lower groups first day of the expedition was very eventful, it started difficult by going up a very long and high hill. As we went on it flattened out and became easier. The rest of the walk was alright towards the last checkpoint. There weren’t any problems during the expedition except from one cadet not bringing his tent and Cpl Patrick Norman forgetting his lunch. The second day was completed without any situations except the few cadets very far behind the leading four cadets.” – Cdt Sam Longfield
On our last day at Windermere, all cadets went to ‘Go Ape’; on the tree top adventure course at the Grizedale Forest Park – and everyone enjoyed the day, including the staff that took part. The other activity for the day was a competitive orienteering course, where in pairs; you had to find 22 checkpoints in 2 hours, through mountainous woodland.
“On our last day at Windermere everyone went to an adventure park called ‘Go Ape’ and went on an exercise which contained lots of activities, I loved them all!” – Cdt Cameron Wells
“Orienteering was definitely harder than I thought it was going to be but turned out to be more fun than expected so doing it as well as ‘Go Ape’ definitely ended the last day of activities on a high” – Cpl Ellie Moore

Overall Windermere is a highly enjoyable week that cadets and staff of all ages enjoy and attend, I highly recommend this camp as it boosts your confidence and allows you to take part in activities you might not normally do on a general basis. A huge thank you to all the staff and helpers who help make Windermere possible, whom without we’d be lost.  Windermere has encouraged my interest in the outdoors and hopefully to gain qualifications in adventure sport that will allow me to teach and lead others, like I have been led and taught through the Windermere course.