CCF at King's – Chindits
As part of a series of articles about our extensive activities programme, we take a final look at our Combined Cadet Force, this time focusing on our Chindits.
The King’s CCF currently has 260 cadets spread amongst the Royal Navy, Royal Marines and Army Sections and our Chindit Columns. The organisation has a long tradition at King's, and celebrated its Centenary in 2002.
The aim of this voluntary organisation is to enable the development of pupils outside the classroom: personal responsibility, leadership and self-discipline, provide young people with a range of life skills and self-confidence to help them reach their full potential at school and beyond.
The idea of the Chindits remains unique amongst CCFs – an introductory year for the Third Form providing a broad range of basic training. From here, many pupils decide to remain as part of the CCF, choosing to join with the Royal Marines, Navy or Army Sections.
Working in groups known as ‘columns’, over the course of the year, Third Form pupils develop teamwork and leadership skills through activities covered in six main outdoor skill groups: camp craft; navigation; first aid; field craft; camouflage and stalking; knots; and communication.
Returning for its second year, reinvigorated in its new slot during term-time, Chindit Camp saw the whole of the Third Form attending over the course of the week. The Chindits were challenged to demonstrate and develop their navigation and field craft techniques in a series of ever more difficult exercises culminating in the famous blindfold drop. This sees 36 cadets dropped at various unknown locations across the moor and tasked to make their way to an enemy camp, which they must then enter without being caught by the hunter force of NCOs.
The cadets learn a huge amount about the importance of personal organisation and administration in the field as well as how to operate effectively as a team; the senior NCOs from the Army and RM Sections also gain invaluable leadership and teaching experience which sets them up well for their roles within their respective sections the following year.
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