Every year, Air Cadets from around the Wing are given the opportunity to attend a Camp on an operational RAF station, anywhere in the United Kingdom. Normally these camps take place over the schools Easter, Summer and Autumn holidays.
The camps normally last one week (normally Saturday to Saturday or Wednesday to Wednesday). Their primary aim is to show cadets what life is like on an RAF Station with the primary purpose of letting cadets see what life is like on an RAF camp. However they are also a great opportunity to meet new people as the camp is usually comprised to cadets from different Squadrons and even different Wings.
They also provide an opportunity to experience new things, beyond what can normally be offered at a Squadron, this included flights in service aircraft, visits to the various sections on a Station and the possibility of work experience for those old enough.
What Can I Do? No two camps are ever the same. Each one is different and offers something unique.
The standard program consists of visits to the various sections on the station, flying and gliding where possible, there is normally a day of shooting, leadership and command task excises, a Night Ex, sport as well as social events, such as bowling, go-karting etc. There may also be visits to local attractions, such as theme parks, or other RAF stations near by.
You will usually be accommodated on the station. Each camp is different in the type of accommodation provided. Some camps provide cadets with individual rooms, others provide barrack rooms, others may even accommodate cadets in tents. There will be drill (Marching etc.), uniform and room/tent inspections but these, along with all the other activities, earn points for you as an individual and for your Flight as a whole.
Each camp normally finishes with awards, such as Best Cadet and Best NCO as well as the ubiquitous “Paper Plate Awards”
As well as camps based in the UK, cadets regularly participate in camps in Germany, at RAF Gibraltar and RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus.
These camps tend to be more relaxed than UK camps, due to the greater experience amongst the participants. They concentrate less on drill and inspections and more on the other aspects of camp, such as gaining valuable work experience with RAF personnel, visiting local sites of historic and/or military interest. Cadets also get the opportunity to explore towns in the local area of their camp, such as Limassol in Cyprus.
INTERNATIONAL AIR CADET EXCHANGES
The Air Training Corps has annual two-week International Air Cadet Exchanges (IACE) with Air Cadet organisations of about 20 other countries, including Australia, India, Hong Kong, Germany, Canada and the United States. This is an outstanding opportunity to visit other people and countries and gain an insight to their cadet forces and culture. It is a high profile event, which often includes visiting government officials, military establishments and places of interest. Cadets are expected to act as ambassadors for both their country and cadet force.