On Wednesday, I was invited along with the Chairman of Cornwall Council, to spend the day with the Cornwall Army Cadet Force at their summer camp. This year the camp is taking place at RAF St Mawgan over a two-week period. The Army Cadet Force is a youth service who wears uniform, much like other uniformed youth services like the Police Cadets, St John Ambulance, Air Training Corp and Sea Cadets.
During the day I got to see first-hand the work the cadets do and the skills they learn. Just because the name is military sounding, it is not about marching around with people shouting at you. Nor is it an Army recruiting ground; as less than 20% of Cadets actually go into the military. The skills they learn by being a Cadet are life-long skills which include leadership, team work, personal admin (parents often feedback what the ACF have done to their child, as they keep their room tidy and make their beds!) and being able to adapt to different circumstances. These are important skills which will help any young person into adulthood. The Cadets also do practical skills which includes many outdoor pursuits.
During the day, the invited guests were able to take part in many of the activities with the Cadets. This included archery and also allowed to shoot at the firing range. It was good to see the Chairman of the Council, and the Head of Treviglas School shoot it out at the range. I also tested my skills, and considering I have not fired a gun in 15 odd years, and the weapon was not zeroed-in to me, I was rather impressed with the grouping of the 5 rounds we had.
I really enjoyed the day (and was able to take the Boy too) as it showed me first-hand the good work the Army Cadet Force do for young people in Cornwall. The ACF along with the other uniformed youth services are excellent organisations. It is good to see the MOD / Army fund the ACF as it allows the organisation to do things that would often be too expensive for many families.