Camps Anxiety

As a cadet that has been in the institution for a year, I now begin to get frequently asked about camps from new cadets.
Unfortunately, I have not attended any due to being too scared to meet new people, not knowing what to expect and what to pack.
I feel like my own personal anxiety prevents me from attending.
Any advice on preparing for camps and its expectation?
Thank you

If you ve been in the corps for a year you ll have already met new people(your sqn team mates).As to camps theres really nothing to worry about.Camps are meant to be fun and if the programme is a good one and you get onto a good active RAF station you ll never have a dull moment.
Even on the quieter stations camp staff will always endeavour to keep you happy and busy.Its an excellent way to make new friends(ones that in my experience cadets keep in touch with for years afterwards).
As to what to take you should be provided with a kit list on the joining instructions.My advice to you on that front is if its a blue camp take every bit of uniform you ve been issued with.Id also advise you to have a chat with you Sqn Commander.He or she will im sure be happy to advise you as to what happens at camps and the best things to take. They will probably have attended camps as staff and perhaps as cadets themselves.As to yourself a year might seem like a longtime but as a cadet you ve so much more to discover.Make the most of it.

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two immediate ideas leap to mind, firstly talk to someone from your Sqn or who you know who has been on a camp, and secondly talk to your OC, let him/her know about your anxiety/social anxiety, and ask if they can get you on the next weekend camp that your Sqn or sector is doing - a weekend camp is a nice, easy way of dipping your toe in to camps without doing the full week on a camp where you may only know one or two people.

my daughter, who’s a lot younger than you, has anxiety as part of her Austism, and preparing her for new things has become second nature by now - with the right strategies and tools its relatively easy to do, and from a starting point of being almost School phobic and only being able to eat plain pasta, ham and tomatoes (and nothing, i mean nothing, else), she’s now able to go on Brownie camps, school trips, and after school clubs doing things like climbing and canoeing.

it might be worth asking the SENCO (the teacher who has responsibility for coordination and implementation of SEN provisionat your School), or googling anxiety strategies.

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Thank you so much, although I have met new people as a girl it is harder to socialise I think, as most times boys want to be with boys. Should I ask female cadets at my squadron to join me? :face_with_raised_eyebrow: I’m currently 16 so in 2 years everything will be over for me and therefore I want to experience as much as I can (like you said), I’m just not sure I can put myself to do it. Do you recommend any camps?

I really appreciate your reply, thank you for understanding. I will ask around if anyone has been. I have looked for weekend camps but they coincide with exam seasons, therefore, the ones that will only fit my schedule is summer camps… Your daughter must be a very strong girl and I will attempt to follow her strong will.

You can stay till your 20 so theres nothing to say it will all be over when your 18.Get stuck into everything you can and who knows(its early in your cadet career) you may become an NCO.Be useful on your sqn.I have a group of cadets on my sqn who I look upon as the backbone of the unit.They really put themselves out and I know I can rely on them completely.They arent super heroes or anything just cadets who enjoy being cadets. Thats what you need to be looking towards.As to camps well thats a tough one.It really depends what you want.Do you fancy blue or green camps.Its really down to you as to what you want to do.Of course it all depends what your Wing is allocated for camps this year.I know where my sqn can go this year and theres a lot to choose from. Ive attended lots of camps over the years and even though the list grows shorter as the RAF contracts of the ones that are left Id say Coningsby or Waddington were particular favourites although Shawbury was a good one as well.
Its what YOU make of it that counts and dont worry about male cadets wanting to stick camps there will be plenty of female cadets there to make friends with.So when your staff put up the camp locations for your sqn just stick your name on that list.

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talk to your OC, see if he/she can find you a weekend camp to two somewhere in your wing over the summer - have you got an EHCP or some less formal support plan in place at School? if so (and if not, its definitely worth talking to your SENCO about getting one), they may well be able to putting some support in place to allow you to to do ‘build up’ activities (like weekend camps or activity days during weekends) in the run up, and during, the exam season.

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I can’t really say which one i prefer, blue or green cause i havent attended any.I will consider the camps mentioned and make sure i put my name down - thank you for being so encouraging.

Don’t have any at the moment but i will be sure to follow up on it, to build up confidence and remain calm etc. Thank you for being so kind and understanding to my situation

Under certain circumstances…

As for camps, does your squadron/Wing do ‘Initial Camp Experiences’ (ICE Camps)? As it says on the tin, an initial camp for those who have never been away before, usually 3-4 days, giving a insight into what a full size camp is all about.

They haven’t done one as far as I am aware, I will mention it to my Flt Lt

I can’t imagine any cadet going to camp for the first time and not feeling apprehensive. I was and had done school trips abroad before that. If you have been on a primary school residential they are not much different, things to do and people telling you what to do etc. A young cadet once likened annual camp to a PGL residential she did when at primary school.

The biggest problem with camps (especially week long ones) is they do not have the places they once did and unless you are able to make that time available you won’t get to go. In recent years I have cadets not do a residential, the longest one currently is 3 years and this year isn’t looking good for them, as they are going away with mum for 2 weeks and dad 3 weeks during summer hols, with a 3 day gap.

The bigger problem you will experience is the lack of female places generally. In the last 5 years we’ve had 3 years with 1 female place and 2 with none. Single places aren’t much use if boys and girls are anxious in the first place, but those doing the allocations, don’t seem to understand it. There was female only camp offered and our girls said they’d sooner stick pins in themselves and two of them were in an all girl school, which they hated.

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My son went on his first camp last year which happened to be the Super Camp. He was a little daunted at the prospect of so many cadets going and even though I told him what to expect from a camp he went with an open mind.

To say he loved it would be an understatement! He made many new friends and still keeps in touch with some of them, he enjoyed the camaraderie and enjoyed every part of the camp. So much so, when the opportunity came about to go to Benson not 2 weeks later he jumped at the chance.

You’ll be very surprised how many first time camp cadets feel the same way but I can assure you that after the first couple of days, you’ll wonder what all the fuss was about.


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Does anyone know if summer camp at RAF Boulmer is good?

Been there numerous times and if the program is the same you will enjoy it

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what do you do?

I’m not telling you…
That way you won’t have any positive or negative thoughts before hand over somethings
Just go, get involved and enjoy yourself!!!

that is very sweet of you, but is there any advice you could give?

Yes enjoy it, get involved and ask questions.

The accommodation is pretty good and the base staff are really welcoming too

Thank you very much, that puts my mind at ease

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