Members of the Combined Cadet Force (CCF) from the South Wiltshire UTC swapped their lessons in science and maths recently for an adventure on the sea.
The nine cadets, from Years 10, 11 and 12, spent two days at HMS Excellent, home to the Naval headquarters and front-line training units, based on Whale Island in Portsmouth Harbour. They stayed on-board HMS Bristol, a former destroyer, but now used as a training ship.
The cadets spent a day on the sea on-board a Swan power boat. They sailed over to Cowes and learnt how to navigate, drive the boat, rope work, the importance of logbooks and then the skipper let the cadets navigate and drive the boat back to Portsmouth.
“I had a fantastic weekend away with the cadet force and enjoyed experiencing life aboard HMS Bristol. The opportunity to helm a small boat ourselves was brilliant,” said Year 12 student, Joseph Green.
Fellow Year 12 student Michelle Trigwell agreed. “As a person who is hardly physically minded, the trip to HMS Bristol really gave me courage in my skills. Within a day I was helming a boat halfway to the Isle of Wight! It’s the best feeling and I navigated all the way back! It felt really liberating and I unlocked skills I thought I’d never have.”
“All the cadets had a great time and learned a lot about the Royal Navy,” said Paul Marchington of South Wiltshire UTC. “They all conducted themselves in a very professional way and were a credit to the school and themselves.”
There are CCF contingents in over 350 secondary schools all over the UK, offering young people a broad range of challenging, exciting, adventurous and educational activities. The aim of the CCF aim is to enable the development of personal responsibility, leadership and self-discipline. Each CCF is an educational partnership between the school and the Ministry of Defence, and a CCF may include Royal Navy, Royal Marines, Army or Royal Air Force sections.