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28 June 2017

CCF Field Day 2017

The CCF enjoyed a glorious two days of Field Day activities this year – a far cry from the rain that was encountered this time last year.

Army Section

The Fourth Form section travelled to RNAS Merryfield in Ilton to conduct the final stage of their Army Proficiency Certificate, putting into practice all the skills they have learned this year. The Lower Sixth NCOs joined them as section leaders or enemy officers.

Upon arrival after lunch, the Section leaders were briefed on the location of their sections’ harbour area and they set off to build their bivvys for their overnight stay. In the soaring heat, the cadets first conducted a camouflage and concealment exercise in the woods. Following a recce patrol of the outer ring road avoiding contact from the other sections, staff and vehicles had to map out the area, enemy campsites and make notes of the strength of numbers.

A hearty ration pack supper was enjoyed as the heat relented and so next up was a dry run-through of a dusk section attack across a field using all the tactics learned in the previous weeks. The day finished with a further patrol, with NCOs setting ambushes back to respective harbour areas, where the cadets crawled into sleeping bags for a well-earned rest.

An early start at 06:00 brought the camp to a close down and after showers and breakfast, the minibuses headed to Porlock Weir, where Exmoor Adventures gave instruction in stand-up paddle boarding, sea kayaking and gave cadets an 8-man paddle board experience. Obligatory ice creams were the order of the day before departure back to school.


Royal Marines Section

The end of the Summer Term sees a shift towards outdoor adventure activities for the Royal Marines section of King’s College CCF, deploying to Croyde for two days of surfing and rock climbing.

The weather was beyond balmy as the group entered the town, which was incidentally hosting the annual Oceanfest music event. With lashings of sun cream applied, the group split into two – half headed into the water for a couple of hours’ surfing in Croyde Bay and the other half to test their head for heights at the famous climbing slabs at Baggy Point.

With a BBQ and camping night to look forward to at a nearby campsite,pupils were eager to set up camp and light the fire. Due to the crowds attending Oceanfest, the local sites were full, meaning the group had to drive in search of alternative accommodation. A short stop away provided all that was needed – a place to pitch for 20. Ben Bamber and James Dee took charge of the BBQ and the minor peril of ‘no room at the inn’ was averted. All cadets enjoyed the weekend experience immensely and are looking forward to their next CCF trip to Croyde in two years’ time.


Royal Navy section

This summer the Navy section travelled to the Royal Navy's ‘Sea Sense’ training centre at Jupiter Point in Cornwall (part of HMS Raleigh) to sail three CCF yachts. After loading the boats with stores there followed a briefing on the boats and safety drill together with the application of copious dollops of sunscreen before the group were able to set sail. Making their way down the River Tamar and out into Plymouth Sound, they proceeded out to the open sea and sailed round the Mewstone to the River Yealm where they moored for the night.

Sleeping on the river overnight, with the cooling effect of the water, provided everyone with a much more comfortable night than those cadets who were ashore! Two cadets even decided it was such a lovely night that they asked to sleep under the stars in the cockpit of the boat and were still comfortably asleep at 07:15 the following morning.

The following day the journey was reversed and the group sailed back to the Cattewater in Plymouth. Docking at the historic Mayflower steps they were able to obtain pasties from the old Barbican area for lunch, before returning up the River Tamar to clean and disembark the boats.

Despite concerns that the high pressure weather system may have led to a lack of wind, the sailing conditions were perfect and everyone took their turns helming the boats and setting the sails. Everyone had a fantastic time. The only problem with having such good weather was the necessity for an ‘emergency’ stop on the way back to buy ice creams for everyone.


Chindits

The Chindits enjoyed the heady heights of the high ropes course followed by rafting at Cobb's Cross. Many avoided getting lost orienteering and all enjoyed being Bear Grylls for a day, building survival shelters at Ramscombe.

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