Annual and Easter Camp
Every year, Air Cadets are given the opportunity to attend a Easter or Summer Camp on an operational RAF station, anywhere in the United Kingdom. These camps last one week (normally Saturday to Saturday or Wednesday to Wednesday) with the primary purpose of letting cadets see what life is like on an RAF camp. It is also an excellent opportunity to make new friends from different squadrons and have a lot of fun!
On arriving at Air Cadet camp, the cadets are split into two or more Flights (groups), and the Camp Commandant will brief you on what to expect for the week. You will normally sleep in RAF barrack blocks (sometimes in tents), eat in the Junior Ranks Mess (also known as the Airman's Mess). You'll get to visit the various sections around the station (such as flying squadrons, Engineering, RAF Police, Medical Centre, RAF Regiment etc), as well as take part in shooting, leadership and initiative exercises, sports, orienteering and night exercises. You may well visit other nearby RAF stations.
There are always opportunities for some social activities in the evening, which may involve such activities as ten-pin bowling or laserquest. There is often free time set aside for exploring a local town.
There will be drill, uniform and room inspections but these, along with all the other activities, earn points for you as an individual and for your Flight as a whole. Each camp normally finishes with awards, such as Best Cadet and Best NCO.
Each cadet at camp will normally get a flight at one of the Air Experience Flight's Tutor aircraft and being on an RAF station puts cadets in a perfect position to get opportunity flights on any other aircraft which may have a few spare seats.
Cadets can receive a Work Experience placement whilst on the camp where they see first-hand exactly what a job within the Royal Air Force involves. Each RAF Station has an Air Cadet Liaison Officer (ACLO) who will help to ensure that the camp runs smoothly and that as many opportunities are available to cadets as possible. Overall, you can expect to have a great time!
Once a cadet has attended a UK RAF camp and has reached the age of 15 they will be able to apply for Overseas camps. The ATC runs overseas camps at RAF Gibraltar, RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus (Cyprus is a 2-week camp) and in Germany.
Overseas camps are typically more relaxed because of the greater experience amongst the participants. They concentrate less on drill and inspections and more on the other aspects of camp, such as gaining valuable work experience with RAF personnel, visiting local sites of historic and/or military interest. Cadets also get the opportunity to explore towns in the local area of their camp, such as Limassol in Cyprus. 51 (Orton) Squadron Air Cadets have regularly been on camps to Germany, Cyprus and Gibraltar.