First Camp (Staff)

I’ve just been selected for my first “blue” camp as staff.

It’s been a fair while since my last cadet camp, and going to “the other side” I’m wondering if ACC has any survival tips and tricks, packing essentials etc?

I recently did my first camp as staff…

Way over thought everything before I went.

Just pack everything you think, and the kitchen sink. Towels etc just everything. Better to have it and not need it… and it can sit in your room/car so no worries.

Then enjoy yourself.

It’s a blast. Have fun!

1 Like


Is it mess or tent based?

1 Like

I got a travel iron and a mini ironing board especially. Life saver and under 20 quid on Amazon.


I think it’s hard accommodation.

Even better.

Just make sure you take appropriate mess clothing.

I always recommend taking a small packet of hand washing powder to use the sink if needs be.

Try and ask the planned camp com for a copy of the weeks program to help give you a guide of what you might need to take

1 Like

Yikes you’re keen! I just ironed out the shirts at the end of the night and liberally applied the right guard each day :joy:

Whatever the mess rules say, chinos and polo almost certain to be ok. The JI’s scared the life out of me, but in reality chinos and polo are fine

1 Like

Yeah I just bought a hollister 5 pack and they’re put away as my camp polo’s z😂


Take an extension lead, though a mess isn’t as bad as transit accommodation MOD never seems to provide enough sockets. Something that can double as a bedside light is handy too.
Coat hangers for your blues. An iron if you have space.


Every Sgt’s mess I’ve been in I’ve been fine in jeans and a shirt.
Do not fear any old ‘camp guides’ which recommend taking a blazer, or a suit and tie in case formal dress is in force… In the early days I used to phone the mess in advance to ask whether there were any functions going on which would affect the dress code. Very quickly I stopped doing that.
The solution would simply be to go elsewhere that night. I have never needed to go elsewhere in 20-odd camps.

The only caveat I would give there is, if staying in an Army mess for whatever reason - all bets are off.
One can always spot the pongo visiting an RAF Sgts mess because they’re the one wearing a suit while all the locals are in jeans.


I’ve been to a few messes where they have created an “amber dress” for during the week where it has to be Chinos and Shirt rather than Jeans and Polo but that was mainly at Sleaford Tech from memory.

That’s the local takeaway delivering to the main gate territory for me!

I don’t mind formal functions, but I do dislike crashing someone else’s celebration.

I’ve never bothered taking formal wear, or even semi-formal wear. Shoes, jeans, and a polo shirt have been sufficient to see me through 20 years of camps as an officer!

Similar… Did get dragged into the Coningsby Sgts Mess summer party once though… In jeans and a t shirt… But it was fancy dress for them thought so wasn’t so bad