Please Read the Previous Parts of This Blog First:
Part 1: Click Here
Part 2: Click Here
It was a Tuesday and it was almost time for the camping trip. I had packed my bags, however they were somewhat heavy. We would be hiking into a forest near the outer edges of Blackdown.
After breakfast in the mess hall, everyone came together to hike through the forest. We ended up hiking for an hour, with our bags. My bag was over 50 pounds in weight, hurting my shoulders horribly.
We spent a while setting up tents, and everything seemed to be going fine. That was, until a fight broke out. One of the most annoying people in my tent decided to provoke a fight with one of my friends.
Only a few moments later, the fight escalated even further, with one of them being thrown into the side of a tent. The fight ended when the sergeants of our group came forward, telling everyone to stop.
After the fight, I was left rather cheerful. The annoying cadet in my tent had a chance of being kicked out of the camp.
We were back at camp, and after another long hike with a heavy bag, I was very tired. Luckily for me, we had the entire night to relax, and the next morning, we left camp, to go to a public pool.
After going to the pool, we had lunch. We returned to the forest to go zip lining. Prior to the trip, I had never zip lined. We went on an hour long hike, before finally finding the zip line.
When we reached the zip line, we had to take many safety precautions. I had to be attached to two cords. One of them would hold my weight, and let me move forward, and one would simply stop me. I went on the zip line many times, and I found the experience to be truly stupendous.
*That isn’t a picture of me. Since we weren’t allowed to bring cameras or cell phones with us, I had to use a picture from Google Images.
However, just like almost everything else that happened to me in Blackdown, something had to go wrong. I was going to be the last person to ride the zip line before we left. The two cords were attached to the zip line, and I jumped down.
I heard a loud screeching noise. I was slowing down for some reason. All of my weight was being put on the emergency break cord! I slowly slid down the rope, with a metal piece of the zip line getting extremely warm. I actually got burned from it.
I was stuck in the middle of the zip line for a while. The man who operated the zip line came along with a large wooden pole. I grabbed onto the wooden pole, and I was pulled down the zip line. I returned to camp afterwards.
The next day, we ended up doing practically nothing. At Blackdown, the temperature is measured by “Heat Stress” levels. After Heat Stress level 5, we aren’t allowed to participate in any activities.
We are also forced to drink absurd amounts of water. As you can see on the sign in the picture above, at heat stress level 5, we have to drink “2+ Litres of water per hour”.
It was the final day before we left to go home. We spent a few hours marching. After that, we got on the bus to go home.
Despite everything that happened, I truly enjoyed my time at Blackdown. However, I was still very happy to be headed home.
Next Summer, I will be returning to Blackdown for the basic Drill and Ceremonial course. I will be writing about my experiences in a post. (Late July or Early August)