The weekly training parades cover a wide variety of subjects.
A new recruit is shown how to wear his uniform properly and with pride, how to march smartly and is taught a little about our Unit and Regimental histories. This will be sufficient for him to pass the recruit’s test following which he is presented with his beret and regimental cap badge.
Basic weapon training is also given to enable him to handle a rifle in a safe and disciplined manner. Following this he will be able to fire our .22" rifles on the miniature range (which is housed under the cadet hut) and full bore rifles on the open range. He will be coached in the art of target shooting to improve his skills with the possibility of entering competitions with other Units.
To help develop self-reliance and confidence, cadets are shown how to survive in the open. This involves basic camp craft skills such as emergency shelter construction, field cooking, map reading and compass work.
To instil in the cadets the benefits of teamwork, these skills are put into practice in simple exercises that incorporate basic military fieldcraft techniques. These exercises are built up in natural progressions from working in pairs, through four man teams up to eight man sections which are usually under the command of a junior non-commissioned officer at the school. Such exercises, in common with all other activities are under the supervision of an Officer or Adult Non-commissioned officer.
Training is divided into three main levels:-
Pre-service - Sufficient for a recruit to be able to wear a uniform smartly, to be able to march and handle a rifle safely. In his first year, approximately 50% of the pre-service cadets training time is devoted to recreation and general interest activities.
Proficiency - This is where a cadets recruit training is consolidated and the aspects of self discipline and self reliance are built up.
Advanced - Here there are many topics - some of which are introduced fairly early on in a cadet's career. A selection are listed below.
Once a cadet has completed his recruit and proficiency training he then becomes involved in the training of junior cadets and will, if suitable, become a junior NCO (Lance Corporal). After this he will be promoted according to his ability and the number of vacancies available.
The Unit is equipped with both High and Very High Frequency radio sets as well as telephone systems. Basic signals instruction, up to user level, is given to all cadets. Later in their career cadets are given the opportunity to take the Signals Classification test. This is an assessment of their ability to operate the simplest range of radio sets and to set up basic telephone circuits. After this, cadets are able to go on to further courses for advanced training.
This is playing an increasingly large part in Unit training, although as you will appreciate it is generally carried outaway from the Finchley area. Activities include canoeing, rock climbing, abseiling and hillwalking.
The training is designed to cater for all standards and is entirely voluntary. ALL adventure training is carried out by suitably qualified and experienced instructors. Safety is our prime consideration.
Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme
The Award Scheme is run by the London Borough of Barnet Youth Service and is open to all cadets over 14 years old. The scheme gives cadets the opportunity to take part in a large variety of activities with young people from other youth organisations. Our regular weekly training will cover many of the skills needed.
All cadets are given a basic course in First Aid.
Apart from weekly training we run a number of training days and approximately eight weekend camps a year. Accommodation at most weekend camps is in centrally heated buildings and cadets receive three hot meals a day. The only exception is the occasional weekend camp which is field based when cadets sleep in shelters and cook their own meals. All equipment is provided and again, adequate supervision is provided at all times. The majority of the cost of the weekends is met by the Army and all we ask is a small fee to go towards the cost of the food.
We also run a 10 day Annual Camp in the summer. This is designed to be the culmination of the training year and includes many different activities. Previous camps have been at locations ranging from North Devon to North Yorkshire and South Wales to the South Coast. Generally, the first few days are spent brushing up on basic skills followed by a two or three day exercise. The remainder of the camp is taken up with recreation, sports, visits and Adventure Training. Previous visits have included air shows, Alton Towers and the Isle of Wight.
In addition to the above, we organise visits and attachments to regular and TA units and there are courses run for cadets, by the Army, covering such subjects as cooking, physical training, signals and instruction techniques. Senior cadets are given the opportunity of a week long visit to Arnhem, Holland where they take part in commemorative marches and enjoy many recreational activities.
I think you will agree that we can offer quite a wide range of activities! Obviously, cadets are not expected to take part in everything on offer although they are free to do so.