This is the story of my second year at Blackdown CTC. If you would like to read about my first year (3 part story), click the any of the following links:
This Summer, I was accepted to a camp in Blackdown, Borden, with the army cadets. As an army cadet, I was able to choose three different cadet camps that I wanted to attend. (Of course, I could only be accepted to one of them, and there was a large possibility that I wouldn’t be accepted to any of them.) The third option on my list was ‘Basic Drill and Ceremonial’. This was the camp I was accepted into.
(To those who don’t know, drill is marching.)
This camp was set to last three weeks, from July 10th to 29th.
On the first day of camp, I had to endure the normal procedure to get into camp, which involved a lot of waiting in lines. After this process, I entered my tent/bunk for the first time. Within a few hours, I realised I was in the worst possible tent, as the group had already managed to get into trouble multiple times.
When the second day began, we were told to clean our tents – for the entirety of the day. About four hours into the day, when our tent was decently cleaned – floor swept multiple times, dusted, beds made to a specific standard – I was moved into a different tent. Albeit this tent was not as clean, I was glad we weren’t getting lectured every hour. The rest of the day was spent moving my things and cleaning the new tent.
The third day arose, along with activities that didn’t involve cleaning. We spent a few hours being taught lessons on how to be a successful leader, followed by lessons on how to march/do drill with rifles.
On the fourth day, I was able to see the weeks schedule. However, I learned that we wouldn’t be doing much until the second week, except for lessons, cleaning, and drill. After this, we were taught a few lessons about team building games, how to lead a team while playing aforementioned games, and why it’s important to play team building games. This was followed by learning more drill.
Days five and six were basically repeats of day four with slightly different lessons.
Finally, it was the seventh day, the first Sunday of the trip, also the first ‘free-day’.
In Blackdown, every Sunday was a day off for cadets partaking in courses, in which we could stay in Blackdown and be with our friends all day or go home for the day with our parents. I stayed in Blackdown for the day, but I was sleeping for a large portion of my free time, due to the fact that I had only slept 5-6 hours a night for the past week.
Luckily the rest of the trip was much better, as our first activity on Monday was going to a pool outside of Blackdown. A bus drove all of the Basic Drill and Ceremonial cadets to a pool about ten minutes away.
Later in the day, all of the cadets (including me) were assessed on our ability to lead a team. We were assigned a specific ‘team building game’ that we had to teach to a group of other cadets.
When I was assessed, I had to get a group to play the human knot. It was simple enough and I completed the task ‘without difficulty.’ (When you are assessed, your ‘mark’ is one of the following labels; incomplete, completed with difficulty, completed without difficulty, or exceeded standards.)
On the eighth day, Tuesday, I was brought to to the confidence course (an obstacle course in Blackdown.) After this, we were taught a few more lessons.
Day nine involved a large amount of lessons, while day ten was mostly spent practising drill/marching.
Read Part 5 – Blackdown CTC Part 5 – Basic Drill and Ceremonial