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Oundle School - ‘Call of Duty’
29th September 2014

Over the summer, 100 Oundle School Combined Cadet Force (CCF) cadets attended a camp at Warcop Training Camp in Northumbria.

One of the most eagerly anticipated exercises was the ‘Oundle School Call of Duty’ which involved cadets approaching and manoeuvring through an abandoned building, clearing each room methodically in as short a time as possible.

 

Fifth Form (Year 11) cadet, Harry Jenkinson commented, Having spent a relaxed couple of weeks on study leave at home following the completion of my GCSEs, I thoroughly enjoyed the challenges of this week long summer camp. The ‘Call of Duty’ exercise certainly lived up to expectations, as it was a means of combat new to us all;  firing blanks in the close confines of each room was thrilling.”

 

The ‘Watermanship’ and laser days were really popular as was the adventure training day with an astonishing range of activities including rock climbing, gorge walking, ghilli-scrambling (going up a watercourse instead of down) and mountain biking. The laser battlefield was exhilarating and very intense with each team putting in to practice military techniques with varying success rates.

 

Other highlights include ‘Warcop Wanderer’ (charges on enemy positions involving large amounts of gunfire) as well as activities involving an ambush, an obstacle course, navigation and first aid.

 

Harry concluded, “In short, the camp this year gave everyone a good insight into what life in the CCF would be like in the following year, and gave each of us important skills to take away, as well as providing significant challenges and opportunities.”

 

 

Oundle Staff Instructor, Sergeant Major Mike Williams commented, “The camp was a great success; every day the pupils returned from training with big smiles on their faces.  The house clearing was a particular hit with the Oundle cadets achieving one of the quickest times of any school throughout the whole period of the camp.  It was a well administered camp and ranks up there with the best camps I have been on in 16 camp attendances.”

 

Oundle’s Combined Cadet Force (CCF)

Contingent Commander: Major A.C. Mansergh Royal Marines

The Cadet Force is the largest single organisation in the School; numbering 460 cadets out of an eligible pool of 820 pupils. Eighteen members of staff provide a varied and exciting training programme every Wednesday afternoon during the term. Additional staff assist during the field weekends and holiday periods. Success and recognition is achieved at national levels; in both 2010 and 2011 a senior cadet was the runner up in The Duke of Westminster Award. Drawn from the country’s best 200 cadets this annual competition is run to find the top cadets. Oundle has produced three finalists in the last four years.

The CCF comprises of three sections: the Army Section, the Royal Navy Section and the RAF section, and is compulsory for all pupils for one year only (in the Fourth Form or Year 10). All three sections have a common core of Drill, Turnout and Skill at Arms. The RN Section then specialises in rowing, sailing and power boating, the Army Section in infantry skills and tactics, and the RAF Section in flight training. At the end of their Fourth Form year cadets may leave or decide to stay in the CCF.  For those who wish to continue their cadet careers the options include remaining in the Single Service Sections, undertaking NCO Cadre training, or joining one of the specialist training sections: Fire and Rescue (the unit trains on its own fire engine), Adventure Training, and Diving.

Training takes place every Wednesday afternoon with two field weekends, one in September and one in April. In addition, every cadet will undertake at least one camp during School holidays. These camps include skiing in the Alps, diving in the Red Sea, climbing in the Alps and Scottish Highlands, as well as military camps organised by the RAF and Army.

The Oundle School Corps dates back to 1902, as the 'Rifle Corps' 1st (Volunteer) Battalion the Northamptonshire Regiment. Since 1958, the Cadet Corps at Oundle has continuously maintained all three Service sections (Royal Navy, Army and Royal Air Force). Cadets are able to attend the many national camps and courses available to them, some of which are aimed towards gaining qualifications (e.g. power-boating and first aid) whilst others are aimed at developing leadership and teamwork skills. 

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