Over long leave, CCF cadet William M. attended the kayaking 2* foundation course with the Cadet Centre for Adventurous Training, CCAT. The course ran for five days and was held at Halton Training Camp, Lancaster. Here is Will’s account of the course:

After a long, six-hour train journey to Lancaster train station, I met the other cadets on the course, who had come from all over the country. We were driven to Halton Training Camp, 10 minutes from Lancaster, where we were issued our kit and briefed on the week ahead. Over the first two days, we learned all the basic skills required for kayaking on up to grade three rapids, and practiced these skills on a river trip up the river Lune, which is in the heart of the Lake District.

On day three we practiced our rescue and capsize drills, and ended up putting them to good use going down some small grade two rapids. The highlight of my week was by far day four where we had the opportunity to go down the Halton rapids, which was my first time going down real white water. We ended the week with a mixed session of open canoeing and kayaking at Devil’s Bridge.

As a result of the course, I now hold a British Canoeing 2* award, allowing me to take part in led trips without direct supervision, in sheltered water environments. This qualification is also a prerequisite to take the Level 1 coaching qualifications which I aim to take next year after I have improved my skills and gained more experience. As well as gaining a national qualification, this course counted as my gold Duke of Edinburgh’s residential section.