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Cadet Activity and the Corona Virus
14/05/20 - all cadet activities, including annual camp, have now been stopped until September.
Those Year 9s doing the Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Award - please see the Duke of Edinburgh page for details of relaxation of the rules and how you can undertake volunteering and physical at home.
Currently the largest all-female, state girls’ Cadet Contingent in the country, now with both an Army and a Naval section, we continue to grow in numbers each year.
2008 - Saw 6 Cadets and 1 member of staff, walk across the road and join boys from Skinners school for training - and the seed of an idea was planted. Those early days and adventures drove the desire to form our own contingent
2012 - 33 girls and 3 members of staff form up on the ‘parade ground’ (tennis courts!) at TWGGS under the leadership of Captain Aimee Reynolds
2018 - 167 cadets and 23 staff (both commissioned and civilian instructors) form up on a Monday evening after school - an Army and newly formed Royal Navy section on parade - winners of the annual Military Skills competition, winners of the annual camp ‘Gun run’ competition, winners of a prestigious ‘Gold’ medal at the annual Cambrian Patrol competition and winners of the best CCF team at the same event.
Activities in 2018 included visiting the “Ice Maidens” (unsupported all female expedition across the Antarctica) at the National Army Museum, an outdoor “Survival” camp, a visit to the battlefields of the Somme and lots of camps for those interested in first aid, shooting, engineering etc.
In the relatively short time we have been operating independently, our girls have travelled to South Africa, Kenya, Canada, Iceland, Bavaria, the Amazon and the Himalayas. They have debated in the House of Lords, visited 10 Downing Street, met many different politicians at various events, attended military dinners, sailing school (including powerboats gaining RYA sailing qualifications), passed various courses in Adventurous Training and Leadership, successfully competed in a range of competitions and parachuted out of planes.
2019 – What a year for the Contingent. Over 30 events throughout the year running alongside normal parade nights on a Monday reflecting activities by both the Army and Navy services.
Starting the year off with Advanced Infantry camp in January the Army section marched through the year with their usual format of weekend training exercises interspersed with local and national inter-unit competitions – Mil Skills, 1st and 2nd placed teams in the Brigade First Aid Competition, 3rd placed team in the National First Aid Competition at Swynnerton, ‘Gold’ Medal winners at the Cadet Cambrian Patrol Competition and the Best National Team for the second year running.
Navy section cadets qualified on the Royal Yachting Association Sailing courses at levels 1,2 and 3, took part in the annual Cowes Tall ships race around the Isle of Wight, Adventure Training in Aviemore Scotland and a Junior Leadership course at HMS Collingwood.
Other contingent trips included an organised three day trip to the D-Day beaches, an activity day at Brompton barracks with the Royal Engineers, a visit from the Army Medical services including a two year old working Jack Russel from the Royal Army Veterinary Corps and a STEM activity visit to Sandhurst.
A squad of cadets had the incredible opportunity and honour of representing the contingent at the Sovereign’s Day Parade at Sandhurst for the passing out parade of April’s Officer cadets.
It goes without saying that in September a group of 11 slightly mad cadets decided that it was acceptable to jump out of a perfectly serviceable aeroplane at 4,000ft, ALL successfully completed a solo static line jump and ALL landed safety without incident.
Duke of Edinburgh Bronze award was new to the contingent for 2019, 90 cadets and most of the training staff assembled – all with a little trepidation as to the outcome – map-reading, walking, getting lost, walking, cooking (for those not lost!), camping, cooking, walking and inevitably working out how not to get lost – all with minimum supervision in pretty atrocious weather conditions over Ashdown Forest.
Amongst the contingent activities, individual cadets and staff booked themselves on various Cadet Centre for Adventure (CCAT) training packages including Lowland and Mountain walking, climbing, canoeing and Skiing . Cpl Grant enhanced her one week canoeing course with a two week Sea Kayaking adventure in and around the Norwegian fjords.
Some of our senior cadets attended a Senior Cadet Instructors course run for both CCF and ACF cadets and returned with a great insight on their own abilities and skills and those of other contingents under the CCF/ACF banner. Later in the year another group of our up-and-coming seniors joined an inter-unit Leadership event run by Wilsons school
CQSM Gardiner re-visited her trip to Canada returning this year as a Cadet Instructor leading 30 Canadian and 2 British Cadets through their summer adventure.
RSM Preston enhanced her Leadership and organisational skills at Frimley taking part in a five day intensive fieldcraft exercise on the Master Cadet Course and went on to represent the brigade at the Annual Cadet Conference.
Both returned to find themselves nominated and subsequently recipients of the Lord Lieutenant’s Award, held during a gala evening at Penshurst Place.
As the days got shorter we remembered the fallen, a football match with a team from Skinners’ school in memory of Walter Tull, a professional footballer and first infantry officer of black Heritage. There was also collecting for the annual Royal British Legion poppy appeal and representing the contingent both at the Cenotaph at the War Widows remembrance parade and the Tunbridge Wells Remembrance parade.
Along the way we got soaked in deluges of rain, froze in the snow, lost ourselves using maps up-side down, ran until our lungs burst, shouted until we were hoarse, felt we could no longer go-on- but dug deep, pushed ourselves, supported our team-mates and ‘achieved the impossible’ by giving our best.
Contingent Commander Major Aimee Reynolds
Head of Army Section Captain Ian Patterson
Head of Royal Navy section Lieutenant Keith Fuller