This is what it’s all about – activities that offer challenge, excitement and adventure and the knowledge you pick up along the way through structured lectures and first-hand experience.
Don’t worry about being thrown in at the deep end. You’ll join our squadron as a trial, when you get to know the other cadets and start basic training. You then get gradually introduced to activities as you progress, so you can make the most of every opportunity that comes your way.
Get out and get active
Cadet life is about learning through practical experience, especially in the great outdoors! Here’s a taster of what’s in store:
- Camping – Work on your survival skills and learn your strengths in a team.
- Easter/summer camps – As you advance in rank you can take part in these popular camps held at RAF stations around the UK.
- Overseas camps – Spend 10 days in Cyprus with fantastic weather, swimming, sailing, and maybe even see the Red Arrows practise their displays (they train there). Head to Germany where you’ll visit a city or cemetery from the First and Second World Wars. You may even get to fly in helicopters – another exciting possibility for cadets.
- AT is a huge part of cadet training. We have two centres, at Windermere in the Lake District and Llanbedr in coastal Wales, both with stunning scenery. Rock climbing, abseiling, high-level hill walking, mountain-biking, canoeing, high rope work and sailing are all par for the course.
- Gliding – Soar to success! There are fantastic opportunities to glide while you are a cadet, with the ultimate goal being a solo flight. Training is in three stages: a Gliding Induction Course (GIC), Gliding Scholarship (GS) and Advanced Gliding Training (AGT).
- Air Experience Flights – Feel the thrill of powered flight, with a fully qualified pilot to guide you through taking control of the aircraft yourself. Not only have the opportunity to learn about the flying controls but you’ll experience aerobatics and low level flying too.
- Air Cadet Pilot Scheme – The pinnacle of flying as a cadet, for advanced handling. Complete this successfully and you’ll be awarded your cadet pilot wings. And if you do exceptionally well you could be recommended for further training which will help towards your Private Pilot’s Licence!
- Air Cadet Pilot Navigation Training Scheme – A great opportunity to use your navigation skills, this two-week course where you fly for up to eight hours is open to selected cadets. Success will lead to you gaining your ‘wings’.
- Shooting – Whatever level you are as a cadet, you’ll have the opportunity to try your hand at military skills and drills including shooting.Marksmanship goes a long way back in the history of Air Cadets and is one of our most popular activities. Think you can concentrate on distant targets and fire with consistent accuracy? It’s not easy. It requires focus, concentration and a very steady hand.
- DofE Award – If you’re 14 or over, then you can begin – just ask the instructors in your squadron and they’ll help you get started. For more information now on everything DofE, follow any of the links on this page to visit their official website. There are three levels which, when successfully completed, lead to a Bronze, Silver or Gold DofE Award. And it’s never too late to get in on the action – depending on your age you may be able to jump straight in at Silver or Gold level!
- Sports – Feeling competitive? As an air cadet you can take part in seven main sports at different levels – athletics, cross country, football, rugby, hockey, netball and swimming. Whatever you do it’ll help improve your physical fitness levels and your team skills. If you’re good enough at your favourite sport we’ll notice, and can help you take it to the next level.
- Music – Do you have a flair for music? It plays a popular role in the life of cadets and playing as part of your squadron band is highly rewarding – competition for places is usually strong. Our aims are to introduce you to music within the cadets, provide you with musical instruction and the opportunity to play in our bands.
Think you can lead?
You may have more talent for it than you think. Leadership qualities are in all of us and the physically demanding 7-day summer cadet leadership course will help bring them out. Make it through and you’ll be a more confident and responsible cadet having learnt the full benefits of working in and leading a team.
Then, for an extra challenge, you could find yourself at the Cadet Training Centre at Frimley Park in Surrey. All cadet forces throughout the UK (and some from overseas) attend courses there. Really flex your skills and you could come out with a trophy for your achievements.
A key part of the cadet experience is your progress through the training syllabus. Set out in stages for you to work through, it enables you to open up more possibilities for activities, specialist technical training and rank promotion. It’s slightly different between the ATC and CCF (RAF) but all cadets take part in lectures and hands-on projects. You also get outdoors and ‘actually do it’ as much as possible.
We expect a lot from you – it’s a serious commitment to be a cadet – but once you’ve experienced it yourself we know you wouldn’t have it any other way.