Carrick Cadets enjoy full on fun and adventure at summer camp

Ready for adventure: 16-year-old Cadet Sergeant Aaron Greer from Ballycarry, a member of the Whitehead Detachment ACF.
Ready for adventure: 16-year-old Cadet Sergeant Aaron Greer from Ballycarry, a member of the Whitehead Detachment ACF.

The summer holidays got off to an energetic start for Carrick Cadets with a fortnight of fun at Annual Camp at Otterburn near Newcastle.

A packed programme of sport, adventure and outdoor pursuits helped the motivated teens to build confidence and resilience and take on new skills, making great summer memories in the process.

Enjoying the craic and camaraderie of Annual Camp are Whitehead Cadets, Cadet Bailey Fullerton (14) and Cadet Lance Corporal Jack McDonald (16).

Enjoying the craic and camaraderie of Annual Camp are Whitehead Cadets, Cadet Bailey Fullerton (14) and Cadet Lance Corporal Jack McDonald (16).

Colonel Adrian Donaldson, MBE, VR,DL Commandant of the First (Northern Ireland) Battalion Army Cadet Force, said: “Those of us who are parents know all too well how difficult it can be to prise teenagers away from social media and into the fresh air, but these young people have been showing a real appetite for ‘the Great Outdoors’.

“The East Antrim Cadets Cadets have been up for every challenge we have thrown at them, bringing incredible energy and enthusiasm – and great good humour – to all kinds of new sports and outdoor pursuits. They may be out of school, but at Annual Camp they are still learning something new every day and, just as importantly, they are making lasting and supportive friendships.

“For our members, Annual Camp continues to be a highlight of the Cadet year, but it is also much appreciated by parents who see it as a great opportunity for their teenagers to let off steam and enjoy themselves after a tough year in school. Providing those opportunities, complete with expert tuition and supportive, professional supervision, would stretch most family budgets but Camp is affordable fun and, as a matter of policy, we aim to ensure that all our activities are either low cost or totally free. We even provide free uniforms! As our Cadets might say, ‘What’s not to love?’”.

At Camp, Cadets are surrounded by friends old and new and, together, they are encouraged and supported to try new activities and learn new skills.

Facing up to the challenges: 14-year-old Cadet Alex Millar, an enthusiastic member of the Carrickfergus Grammar School Detachment ACF.

Facing up to the challenges: 14-year-old Cadet Alex Millar, an enthusiastic member of the Carrickfergus Grammar School Detachment ACF.

Every accomplishment builds confidence and, in the longer term, Cadet membership will also help them to compile achievement-packed CVs which will help them when they are ready to apply for university or college, or take the first steps into the world of work.Cadet membership is open to boys and girls from age 12 to 18 years.

At the end of Summer, the Cadets will help drive a campaign seeking new recruits for East Antrim’s busy ACF Detachments which meet at 7.30pm each Wednesday at the ACF Hut, Prince William Way, Carrickfergus, and 7pm each Thursday at the Whitehead Community Centre 20 Balmoral Avenue, Whitehead. Potential new members are welcome to goalong to see Cadet life for themselves. To find out more about membership or to arrange to or visit www.reservesandcadetsni.org.uk