Back In Business

We still have a “preparing to return” thread, but more and more units are beginning to actually return. After a pretty dire year (and a lot of whinging) who has some good news stories about parading and activities that might help rekindle some enthusiasm and get back that “it’s worth it” feeling?

Following our return, I was amazed to hear details from our cadets about what they’ve been up to and learned a lot about them that’s new or had just never come up before. After so long out it was great to hear them all talk so freely and be inquisitive towards and supportive of each other.

Looks like we’re going to retain around 65%.

Looking forward now to getting back into proper training and getting off the unit for activities. We’ve reached the light at the end of the tunnel and future is bright.


8 hours later and nothing… good news is hard to come by maybe?

I will start.

Cadets parading. Heart Start covered off for all. Badges galore.

Everyone through blue leadership, plus being dumped on with IDEA and OU certificates galore to sort through to claim bronze and silver cyber badges. I really don’t mind as they all seemed to have enjoyed doing it

I’d hope most people had something better to do at 3am… We’re volunteers after all :wink:


Short practical nav training session done, couple of evening paddling sessions planned in for next month. Nice to see them out enjoying stuff.

We were one of the first squadron’s parading in my area last year and managed to get several weeks in in September/October before the next lockdowns meant we had to close again. This helped with retention I think as we have been lucky to retain most of our cadets. The ones who did leave have been replaced with new starters.

We are trying to keep the range of activities we offer as normal as possible, albeit with reduced numbers. Our building is small so we have half of the cadets in on a Monday and the other half on a Thursday, repeating the same activity twice. Our new cadets parade together so we can get them through their initial training as a group.

So far our cadets have earned badges for radio, first aid and leadership and are engaging really well. We had a few problems with attendance last year, with some cadets turning up infrequently but seem to have sorted this now and our attendance is around 90%.

We have asked each cadet what badges/qualifications they have to check it matches what we have for them on SMS (as many of them took part in stuff virtually) and are now planning to run courses based on what groups of cadets need to achieve next. This has made it easy to do once the initial work of mapping all the cadets qualifications on a spreadsheet was completed.

Bronze and Silver DofE training/expeditions are also planned next month! :slight_smile:

Just had some trekking approved for next month. Can’t wait.

DofE for sure.

It’s been a slow start and the bubbles aren’t helping (though in a weird way it’s helping our NCOs be more NCO-like), but we’ve got some AT planned, DofE expeds are in the calendar, we’re going to do a kind of multi activity week in August, and we’ve got ~25 on a waiting list to join, and that’s before we’ve been actively recruiting. Looking good.

I’ve been out on DTE with staff getting them prepped for return 3 times already, one of which involved just under 30 cadets doing basic fieldcraft. Units do seem to be coming back and recruitment seems to be going well.

Since the start of lockdown we’ve gained 3 uniformed members of staff (1 joined just before the 3 F2F parade nights we managed in December before everything got locked down again, 2 CIs to uniform since this March), I’ve had 2 Sundays in a row I’ve been up before 7 for cadet activities and we’re slowly building back strength with new cadets beginning to replace the ones we lost due to age/moving on whilst in lockdown.

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Dont think my wing has added 3 in total this year…

Just submitted two AT activities for approval which will be our first since early 2020.

We’re having fluctuating numbers of cadets attending each night with really strong numbers some nights and next to none on others. We’re not entirely sure why yet, but we’re only in our second week of F2F so will wait and see if numbers stabilise before we make any changes.

Solid paperwork. Gold star. :smiley:


Hahaha cheers. WATTO has been mega helpful to be fair to him.

What sort of on-squadron activities have people been running?
We’re not open yet, but starting to think about some planning.

Probably same as a lot of units: First Aid, basic Nav and pre exped stuff, Comms, elementary fieldcraft, drill. Keeping clear of syllabus for now but might try some stem if we can work out the Covid measures for it.


We’ve been doing similar things to @WestlandScout

First night back was ice breaker/measure up for uniform. Then on to out door stuff - radio comms (battle ships, describe the shape etc), putting up 12x12’s, SMEAC refresh and outside simple exercises like moving minefield… a little bit of sport to give them all a run around…

Onto the syllabus a bit later…

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HeartStart done for all cadets and staff, Air Rifle WHTs completed for all cadets, 50% of the squadron through the new AR CLF 1 and 3 new trained shot badges requested. Whole squadron above 1st class completing Presentation Skills in next 3 weeks.