Larne Cadets recruiting mission

Taking full advantage of the serious fun on offer at this year's annual camp are Cadets James White and Daniel Dempsey from the ACF Detachment in Larne. INLT 43-604-CON

Taking full advantage of the serious fun on offer at this year's annual camp are Cadets James White and Daniel Dempsey from the ACF Detachment in Larne. INLT 43-604-CON

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Cadets from Larne have been so inspired by their annual two-week, adventure-packed annual camp in Devon that they have returned ready to launch a local recruitment campaign.

The Larne teens are highlighting opportunities to try new sports and activities, acquire new skills, get fit, build their CVs, make friends and generally enjoy themselves … all at little or no cost. It’s an offer, they say, that simply isn’t available anywhere else and the benefits package explains why the Army Cadet Force is one of the UK’s largest and most successful youth organisations.

The annual camp experience is usually regarded as a highlight of the Cadet calendar and this year the local Cadets descended on Okehampton in Devon for a fortnight of outdoor adventure training, sport, socializing and team building, plus the experience of living under canvas and, occasionally, even cooking for themselves.

The promise of increased self reliance and motivation is as appealing to parents as it is to young people so the East Antrim recruiting campaign will target mums and dads as well as young people aged between twelve and eighteen, encouraging them to come along to their local Cadet unit for a ‘show and tell’ session that could be the start of a whole new interest.

Colonel Paul Shepherd, Cadet Commandant of 1st Northern Ireland Battalion Army Cadet Force, said: “We have great open and schools detachments not only here in Larne, but also across east Antrim, with some hugely enthusiastic and high achieving Cadets, supported by superb Adult Instructors, but we’re always keen to attract still more members. Our young people have returned from Annual Camp on a real ‘high’ and they are ready to spread the word about their favourite hobby. They tell us that, as the dull days of winter are approaching, now is the perfect moment to be throwing open our doors to new members so that’s exactly what we’re doing.

“Our Cadets are a very friendly bunch but we recognize that some potential recruits may feel a little overwhelmed at the prospect of walking into a completely new environment for the first time, but mums and dads are welcome to come along to ease that introduction. Who knows – we may even recruit them as potential Adult Instructors, for we are always on the lookout for adults who have the right qualities to learn to lead and inspire Cadets!

“Adults and teenagers alike are delighted to discover an organisation which offers exciting, constructive and active alternatives to endless hours in front of a computer or television screen. The Cadet movement provides great opportunities within a safe and welcoming environment for everything from adventure training and sports to earning accredited skills and building an impressive CV. The good news, in the current tough climate, is that everything our Cadets undertake is either free or extremely low in cost.”