Once you're used to local Squadron camps you'll want more. Every year, you're given the opportunity to attend a camp on an operational RAF station. These camps last a week (normally Saturday to Saturday or Wednesday to Wednesday) with the purpose of getting you even closer to Service life. As an air cadet, you'll fit right in.
You'll sleep in RAF accommodation blocks, eat at the airmen's mess and visit the various sections around the station. You'll meet the base personnel, as well as take part in sports, quizzes, aircraft recognition competitions and any social activities which may be available. There will be drill, uniform and room inspections and everything will earn points for you as an individual and for your team. Cadets over 16 may receive a work experience placement whilst on the camp where they see first-hand exactly what a job within the Royal Air Force involves.
During the camp there may be an opportunity for a flight in one of the Air Experience Flight's Tutor aircraft and being on an RAF station puts you in a perfect position to get opportunity flights on other aircraft which may have a few spare seats. Helicopter flight anyone?
Each RAF station has an Air Cadet Liaison Officer (ACLO) who will ensure that the camp runs smoothly and that you get support and as many opportunities to do things as possible.
Annual Camps are not only during the Summer but are also run at Easter and in the Autumn, normally during school holiday times. In recent years, 1260 Squadron has been to Annual Camp at RAF Cottesmore, RAF Valley, RAF Scampton and Kirton in Lindsey, RAF Boulmer, RAF Shawbury, RAF Brize Norton and RAF Leuchars.
1260 Air Cadets have the opportunity to take part in the 2015 Annual Camp at RAF Cosford from 18 -25 July.
This is where it gets really interesting! Once you've attended annual camp, proven yourself as a leader and have reached the age of 15, you're ready for an overseas camp at one of our RAF stations in Gibraltar, Cyprus or Germany.
These camps are more relaxed as all of you involved are pretty experienced by this point. There's less focus on drill and inspections and more on the other aspects of camp, such as work experience with RAF personnel and looking around local towns (like Limassol in Cyprus) and exploring historical sites.
An overseas camp is a must and it's not surprising that places are limited. Applying for one is just the beginning - you may have to fend off competition from within the Squadron to get an interview. Only after this will you discover if you've been chosen to attend overseas camp and become the envy of the Squadron and the Wing!
International Air Cadet Exchange
The International Air Cadet Exchange (IACE) links the Air Cadets with the world. For 15 days every July and August IACE exchanges students so each gets a taste of the other's culture and another great cadet experience. Places are limited, and if you're aged between 17 and 19 you'll need to apply as soon as the scheme allows to be in with a chance - you can find out more from your instructors.
The first exchange was in 1947 between the UK and the Canadian Air Cadets. The world-wide cadet family now comprises more than 20 nations, with around 600 cadets/volunteer staff exchanging annually. About 90 of those are from the UK, who head off to about 15 different countries around the world. English is used as the common language.