The Air Training Corps offers a wide range of exciting and varied camps throughout the year that provide cadets with the opportunity not only to experience what life is like in the Royal Air Force but is also a great place to make new friends. From uniformed Easter and Summer camps to adventure training camps in the Lake District, the ATC has a lot to offer.
Whilst on these camps you may learn how to cook using a camping stove, how to select and pitch a tent on site or how to navigate using a map. These weekend camps may be your first time away from home without your parents, but they are a great opportunity to meet new people as well as working more closely with other cadets from your Squadron.When you first join the ATC as a cadet you will find that you will be given the opportunity to take part in one of the many Squadron and Sector camps that are run on weekends in your local area. These camps are usually structured to give you an insight into some of the practical activities offered by the ATC such as the Duke of Edinburgh Award, camp craft or leadership.
Camps will have some form of small cost associated with them which usually covers the cost of the camp-site and your food for the weekend. Don’t worry too much about having all the latest gear either as most Squadrons have equipment that you can borrow.
Once you become a First Class cadet you are eligible to attend one of the Air Training Corps’ week-long annual camps. These usually involve cadets from the other Squadrons in your area joining you for a weeks camp at an RAF Station somewhere in the UK. Annual camps usually take place during the school holidays but if time is needed away from school your headmaster/mistress can be approached for time off.
The activities offered on Annual Camps often include the opportunity to visit one of the RAF’s flying Squadrons and take a tour of the aircraft they operate. You may even be lucky enough to take a flight in one of them! Throughout the week you will work with the other cadets to compete in the drill competition, navigation exercises, sport and leadership exercises.
As you get older you may be given the opportunity to lead a group of cadets on Annual Camp. This is a chance for you to show your leadership skills as well as working with people you may have never met before. The aim of the week – to win the Inter-Flight competition!
Adventure Training Camps
The Air Training Corps is fortunate to have two dedicated adventure training centres – one in North Wales, the other in the Lake District. Throughout the year cadets have the opportunity to take part in more challenging activities such as rock climbing, mountain biking and even overnight wild-camps.
AT Camps take place throughout the year and like Annual Camps provide a great setting to make new friends. As a cadet you will come away from an AT camp with memories and experiences that will last a lifetime. Again, don’t worry about having all the equipment, as long as you have sturdy, comfortable boots and waterproof clothing the rest can be borrowed from your Squadron or the adventure training centre.
The typical programme of activities for an Overseas camp usually consists of visits to the Squadrons that are currently operating abroad to find out more about their roles and responsibilities. You may even get the opportunity to meet members of the Overseas ATC Squadrons at a BBQ or day of leadership activities.After you have attended an Annual camp in the UK you can then apply to attend a camp overseas. These camps run at several times through the year, including during the Easter holidays. If successful in being selected for an Overseas camp you will join cadets from all over the UK at British military camps in places like Cyprus, Gibraltar or Germany.
Understandably there is a cost associated with attending both Annual, Adventure Training and Overseas camps but these are usually a lot lower than you would expect to pay for an equivalent holiday. If you have concerns over the costs of a camp speak with a member of Squadron staff to see if there is a way you can be supported.