Herts & Bucks Wing

  Adventure Training Group


Course summary

Wing Winter Course:

This purpose of this page is to provide information for cadets, parents and schools about the Herts and Bucks Wing winter course, which takes place every November at the Corps adventure training centre in the Lake District. The course is organised and run by the Herts and Bucks Wing Adventure Training Group and authorised by HQ Air Cadets. The Group runs mountain activity and canoeing courses from March to November every year, but this is the only one that takes place during the school term

We know how difficult it can be for students to take time off school, but there are good reasons for running the course at this time of year, and we know that young people derive a great deal of benefit from the week. Most of our courses are based in North Wales, so a major factor is the availability of the ATC adventure training centre in the town of Windermere; basing the course in the Lake District allows us to provide training in a challenging area which is unfamiliar to most of the cadets. Furthermore, we benefit from the absence of crowds, and have opportunities to demonstrate the effects of varying weather and terrain without exposing cadets to the dangers and rigours of full winter conditions

The course consists of 20 male and 10 female cadets (aged 14-20) selected from the 30 units in Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire, and it is led by an experienced and qualified (MLTB) mountain leader. We always take enough staff to maintain a 1:5 staff-cadet ratio on the hills - a requirement laid down by HQ Air Cadets before they grant approval for the course. We also draw on the support and assistance of the centreís professional, full-time instructor for certain activities, such as climbing and abseiling

The programme features walking, climbing and mountain biking, with the emphasis on the development of personal mountain-craft, teamwork and leadership skills. These include navigation, safety on steep ground, emergency procedures, and group leadership. Our staff-cadet ratio allows us to give practical training to every cadet, appropriate to his or her previous experience. For more experienced cadets, we offer training according to a syllabus structured to develop his or her personal mountain-craft and group management skills. There are also opportunities for cadets to become staff cadets within the Group as part of a progression towards becoming qualified mountain leaders and instructors in their own right - a path followed by several of the Groupís current adult instructors

The days are short in November so we organise an evening programme of lectures and projects. These sessions include briefings and debriefings on the dayís activities and classroom training to improve technical skills and increase awareness of potential risks. We also conduct group projects to study relevant topics, such as the effects of outdoor pursuits on the local environment and economy


      Web site by: Flt Lt Geoff Bowles RAFVR(T), ML(S), SPA                                                            This page last updated on 22 November 2003