In his latest blog, Junior Soldier Field writes from the Army Technical Foundation College, Winchester looking back at a week of adventurous training in Kent.
Week 5 took us away from Winchester for the first time, to Crowborough in Kent, for Adventurous Training. The whole troop were excited about getting some sort of relaxation before next week’s inspections and drill test and it certainly did not disappoint. I overcame a fear and an added bonus was that I had my first Burger King in 5 weeks!
We departed ATFC Winchester on Monday morning and arrived at Crowborough around midday. We had a safety brief and then looked at all the activities that we would be covering during the week. Tuesday morning took us to Bewl Reservoir to do some sailing. It was interesting but not really my cup of tea, as I prefer sport that is more active. Happily, in the afternoon we went mountain biking and this was my highlight of the whole week. It was so much fun flying around the woods on different trails, splashing through puddles, over jumps and around tight corners where you thought you were going to crash into trees at any moment. It was by far the best thing I have ever done on a bike. All the troop seemed to love this activity and we couldn’t stop talking about it all night!
Before we knew it was Wednesday morning. After breakfast we were back at the reservoir, but this time for some canoeing. Again this was not my most enjoyable activity as I had to go with one of the instructors, which limited my fun! The other members of the Troop seemed to have a laugh and the highlight came when Junior Soldiers West and Spicer capsized! The afternoon took us to an indoor climbing wall and we spent the whole afternoon climbing and competing in different challenges with each other. There were loads of different climbs to do and the highlight was a small hole behind one of the walls which was like a caving system – in complete darkness. We decided to make this hole in to a competition and see how many members of 14 Troop could fit in the hole. We achieved 25 and it was REALLY cramped.
On Thursday morning we were on to the abseiling tower first. I thought that I would find this easy – however once I got to the top of the tower and looked down I soon discovered I had a fear I didn’t know about. I absolutely froze at the top and did not want to go over the edge, but I finally did and went down as fast as I could. I felt so happy when my feet touched the ground – however I asked the Troop Commander if I could go back up and conquer my fear. I did, had no issues and felt really proud of what I had achieved! We then went and played paintballing which is something I have never done before. Unfortunately due to the poor weather the guns jammed a bit which meant that we didn’t get to play as many games as we would have done. In the afternoon we went back to the climbing centre and managed to get 32 people in the caving hole this time – equalling the record with another Troop.
Friday was the day of the Adventure Race. This was a race between the 4 Troops which started with a run carrying two 25kg burdens between us, followed by a paddle in the canoes. I found the run exhausting and the whole troop put in 100% effort. We worked really hard as a team to get around as quickly as we could. Unfortunately due to a couple of penalties we did not win but we will be victorious in whatever event comes next!