Banbridge teenagers have been making the most of their school holidays, packing outdoor adventure, sport and fun into a 10 day annual Cadet Camp in England.
While many of their mates are stuck at home complaining about being bored, or are spending their leisure time in front of computer screens, these intrepid teens have been tackling a vast range of mind and body stretching outdoor activities.
Colonel Keith Dowell, Commandant of 2nd (Northern Ireland) Battalion Army Cadet Force, explained: “Annual Camp is a traditional highpoint of our year, and for some very good reasons.
“As far as the Cadets are concerned, it’s all about carefree fun and adventure spent in the company of friends, while, for parents, it’s a chance to give their children an action-packed and fully supervised summer experience without breaking the bank.
“Every parent knows how difficult and expensive it can be to fill the kids’ school holidays with challenging fun activities.
“Cadet life opens the door to all sorts of opportunities and everything is either totally free or deliberately low in cost...we even provide our members with free uniforms and we try to keep the camp experience at under a hundred pounds so that it is affordable for most families!”
Colonel David Kane, Commandant of 1st (Northern Ireland) Battalion Army Cadet Force, added: “Importantly, parents know that their kids are well supervised by expert Adult Leaders who will make sure that everyone is involved in every activity. They know the Cadet movement is as much committed to building confidence and friendships as it is to building skills.
“Our Banbridge Cadets embraced every opportunity brought to them at this year’s Summer Camp, held at Strensall, near York, with great good humour and seemingly boundless energy.
“Now, following a Summer packed with challenge and achievement, they’ll be turning their attention to their annual new membership campaign and I am sure they will all become highly persuasive recruiters as they invite local teenagers to come along and see what Cadet life has to offer.”
If you would like to find out more about what membership of the Army, Sea or Air Cadets can offer you or your children, contact 0800 730 730 or visit www.reservesandcadetsni.org.uk. The Reserve Forces and Cadets Association for Northern Ireland is a regional civilian body comprising voluntary members and a small full-time secretariat. Along with other RFCAs it has been established by statute to offer advice and support to the Defence Council on behalf of the Reserve Forces and Cadet movement.