Easter camp is an event unique to Beds and Cambs Wing. 2523 (Linton) Squadron will try and get as many cadets away in this camp as it can. The week long event is dedicated to field craft skills but it is also an excellent way of experiencing your first camp with the ATC. For some cadets this camp is their favorite of the year, with some of the older cadets attending their fourth or fifth easter camp. There is a lower age limit but that is just to ensure that cadets are physically large enough to carry out the tasks on camp.
RAF Annual camps are the highlight of the cadet year. Camps are organized by Headquaters Air Cadets in association with individual RAF stations. Places are allocated to each squadron and competition for these places is fierce. Camp enables a cadet to experience life on a RAF station, activities for the week are the responsibility of the station and are varied and exciting. You’ll sleep in RAF accommodation blocks, eat at the airmen’s mess and visit the various sections around the station. You’ll meet the base personnel, as well as take part in sports, competitions and any social activities which may be available. There will be drill, uniform and room inspections, and everything will earn points for you as an individual and for your team. Cadets over 16 may receive a work experience placement whilst on the camp where they see first-hand exactly what a job within the Royal Air Force involves. The Station will try to lay on a flight in one of the Air Experience Flight’s Tutor aircraft and being on an RAF station puts you in a perfect position to get opportunity flights on other aircraft which may have a few spare seats. Helicopter flight anyone? Each RAF station has an Air Cadet Liaison Officer (ACLO) who will ensure that the camp runs smoothly and that you get support and as many opportunities to do things as possible.
Overseas camp. This is where it gets really interesting! Once you’ve attended annual camp, proven yourself as a leader and have reached the age of 15, you’re ready for an overseas camp at one of our RAF stations in Gibraltar, Cyprus or Germany. These camps are more relaxed as all of you involved are pretty experienced by this point. There’s less focus on drill and inspections and more on the other aspects of camp, such as work experience with RAF personnel and looking around local towns (like Limassol in Cyprus) and exploring historical sites. An overseas camp is a must and it’s not surprising that places are limited. Applying for one is just the beginning – you may have to fend off competition from within the squadron to get an interview. Only after this will you discover if you’ve been chosen to attend overseas camp and become the envy of your squadron!
The Ultimate Camp. The International Air Cadet Exchange (IACE). IACE plans and run an annual, world-wide exchange for aviation-minded young people each July. Members are drawn from 20 countries and include the Ghana National Cadet Corps, the Hong Kong Air Cadet Corps, the US Civil Air Patrol as well as the Air Training Corps. Each year over 500 cadets from all over the world have the opportunity to expand their horizons, experience different cultures and make life-long friendships. To be selected for IACE is quite an achievement and the selection is really hard work.