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CCF visit RAF Cranwell

Twenty Cadets, from both the RAF and Army CCF sections, travelled to RAF Cranwell to participate in a three-hour High Ropes course. The aim of the evening was to take themselves outside of their comfort zone.

Twenty Cadets, from both the RAF and Army CCF sections, travelled to RAF Cranwell to participate in a three-hour High Ropes course. The aim of the evening was to take themselves outside of their comfort zone.

Initially the group was split into two teams, a mix of RAF and Army, Males and Females, Juniors and Seniors. The weather in recent days had been had been poor and the remaining windy conditions meant the cadets would really have to work together if they were going to overcoming the challenges ahead.

Each team were to complete two challenges throughout the evening; the infamous Jacobs Ladder which some of the Seniors had attempted last year, as well as the new ‘Crate Stack’ activity.

Jacob’s Ladder is a hanging ladder that the team had to negotiate their way to the top of. This activity needed clear communication, teamwork and in some places a bit of brute force. To make it difficult, the ladder is not fixed, the rungs are attached by steel cables so they move and swing as you try to climb up it, and to make it even harder, the distance between the rungs of the ladder increases each time! All the time this is going on, you also need a good pair of interested belayers! The windy conditions added to the challenge, making balancing on the rungs difficult. None the less, all the groups performed well in the task, with 2 of the sub-teams making it all the way to the top, a great effort!

The crate stack was a new activity that neither the Seniors or Juniors had completed before, which meant a brand new challenge to the group. The groups were given a short amount of time to plan their strategy, the aim being to get all 4 members of the group as high as possible using only the crates. Balancing on top of the crates was difficult, and the wind didn’t help matters! However, the groups persevered and all put in an excellent performance. A special mention must go to those who were catching the crates being thrown up to the group. Catching these crates with one hand whilst trying to balance is not an easy job! As you can see from the photo, the challenge usually came to a spectacular finale, with the 4 members left hanging in their harnesses!

A great time was had by all; some fantastic teamwork and clear, concise communication was seen throughout the groups, even between the RAF and Army who are usually rivals! The wind didn’t deter the Cadets, with some encouragement from the team everyone joined in and gave 100%. A big thank you must go to Mr Black and his team at RAF Cranwell for putting on the event, it’s safe to say the Cadets are already looking forward to returning!

CWO Atkinson