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Cadets returning to action after halting for pandemic
Organisers at Bodmin Army Cadets have issued the call for youngsters to get involved. PICTURE: COURTESY CORNWALL ARMY CADETS
26th May 2021
By Ollie Young
After a long and difficult period of lockdown and confinement, Bodmin Army Cadets are beginning to return to their detachments, full of enthusiasm for an exciting year ahead.
Cadets from the town have been training and getting used to the new procedures for a couple of weeks.
This is the result of much preparation and risk assessment work by senior staff and detachment commander Captain Tony Feeney, and staff which began last year, and has been updated and reviewed.
Cadets can now train in bubbles without restrictions on numbers. There is social distancing indoors and out, the wearing of masks indoors, the use of hand sanitizer and wiping down of surfaces.
Detachment commander Feeney told the Voice: “We have been out of action since the first lockdown, we have been doing virtual stuff with Zoom and stuff but not everybody was able to keep contact and even then it is terrible.
“It has been horrendous for the adults because all we can think about is how much the kids are missing out on. You have to meet and know the cadets to know how much it helps them, in themselves and in their every-day life.
“Socially too, it is fantastic and in a year, we normally run four of five weekends and host a junior camp and senior camp. That introduces youngsters to time away from home and that kind of thing, we have some kids who come to us who have never spent one night away from home.”
The group are also looking forward to annual camp at the end of July, which promises an extremely exciting line-up of events, action and adventure, including an adventure training package and field craft.
Next month, they will have the opportunity to attend a pre-camp training weekend where they will get to be with their friends, the antidote to so many months at home.
Company Sergeant Major Gavin Tyler added: “Although we have been doing some training on-line, it is so much better to get back to face to face training and have some fun. I’m not sure who is more excited to be back, the cadets or us adult volunteers!”
As an Army Cadet, young people can take part in shooting, rock climbing, kayaking, sports, achieve the Duke of Edinburgh awards, first aid, take part in Ten Tors or take trips abroad.
If anyone is interested in joining, Bodmin Army Cadets are open for new cadets now. You need to be at least 12 years old and in year eight at school. The Cadets are also always looking for new adult volunteers, no military experience is necessary as all training is provided.
Bodmin Army Cadets meet at the Army Reserve Centre, Castle Canyke Road, on Tuesdays 6.30-9.00pm. Find out more at armycadets.com