Lots to unpack here…
Firstly - have you been given any official explanation of what’s going on at the moment with Nijmegen by your Squadron Staff, Wing Staff / Wing Road Marching Officer?
You should be able to email your WRMO to ask a polite but direct question as to what the current situation is.
The answer at this moment in time however is likely to be brief and not overly helpful as information is still being cascaded down.
If you use the search function in this forum, you will find LOTS of unofficial chatter about what has been happening too.
You may also find some explanations as to why things are up in the air.
As things stand, to get your Nijmegen RM Badge, you need to have completed the Blue RM syllabus and the Nijmegen March.
The situation is currently unclear whether you could participate as a civilian individual, outside of RAFAC and like doing DofE at school, put in for your badge with cadets… I’m pretty certain that at the very least, you would need to have completed your Blue.
Has your WRMO announced any plans for RM training this season?
Without giving any personal info away - how feasible might it be for you to participate with a neighbouring Wing - who ARE training?
Next - until the final news comes out regarding arrangements for this year at Nijmegen - and the future, if you are still very keen to go, then you could consider going as a private individual.
Before you consider this, you REALLY must understand a few things… first of all, exactly WHAT is it about Nijmegen that you are wanting to achieve / experience?
If it’s the participation in a team - and you’re under 18, then you’re going to be best served by looking at sticking with RAFAC - or, perhaps discussing things with your school / college PE / DofE staff. Doing Nijmegen as part of a team, especially your first time, is certainly “better” as you’ll have an abundance of support around you!
If the team aspect is of less importance AND you are OVER 18, then you could consider going as an individual with one of a number of walking groups.
If you are under 18, although the rules of the Dutch Organisation that runs the Vierdaagse permit younger participants, you may find it difficult to find a group that will accept responsibility for a young person.
If you are under 18, do you have a family member / appropriate adult friend of the family that would be prepared to chaperone you for the entire event - better yet, do you have a family member that might train and walk with you?
This in itself may be complicated due to the age of your companion/s due to the minimum distance that individuals must walk.
For example, if I took my son - aged 16
And I was 48… my son would be eligible to walk 40k per day - but I would have to walk 50k per day! To walk together, either my son would have to walk 50k for us to both be able to get our certificate and medals - or, I would have to attend as a “companion”, which would mean that I wouldn’t received the certificate or medal - but my son and I could walk “just” 40k.
There is even a 30k option in this scenario for under 16’s.
The arrangements are very complicated and need a bit of reading!
Your WRMO may be able to advise on recommendations of non-RAFAC walking groups with British and Dutch connections.
If you are over 18, then you could obviously organise your own participation with one of these groups and go by yourself… Dependkngnon which group you went with, I can just about guarantee you that you will find other people with boundless information, tips and support…
If you’re under 18 - another hypothetical situation could be to go on holiday with a parent - they can can enjoy the local area and the incredible atmosphere created by not only the walking event, but the four day music festival in the city - and be on hand to support and see you at various points of the days walk - and be at the finish line to congratulate you…
If you DO decide to participate beyond RAFAC it is imperative that you factor in regular training.
Some teams use a training programme of fortnightly walks of increasing distance in the run up - others have a programme of monthly 2 day training walks of increasing distances.
There is an ENORMOUS amount of information available via Sharepoint that your Sqn staff / WRMO should be able to help you digest.
From my own personal experience - having walked as a companion to my son who was too young for the team - going as part of a team IS absolutely amazing!
Going as just my son and I, with some friends made the event no less special - just vastly different! The atmosphere of the crowd and the walkers was still there - but the camaraderie and collaboration of being part of a team wasn’t.
That first time with my son was VERY special - and was an experience I will never forget - but having participated in a team, with all the jokes, singing and banter was also very special.
Going in a small group or individually means you can set your own pace, take your own breaks etc - going as part of a team you rely on everyone else to do their bit, as they rely on you to do yours…