Cadets flying high for open day

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Banchory Air Cadet Squadron will be holding an open doors day at The McCombie Cadet Centre this coming Monday evening.

Air Cadets are a national youth organisation that aims to provide fun and exciting opportunities for young people from all corners of the United Kingdom.

Although supported by the Royal Air Force, members are not required to join the military.

The cadets are open to girls and boys aged 13 (or age 12 and in second year at school). The maximum joining age for cadets is 17 and they can stay in the organisation until their 20th birthday.

Banchory squadron parades every Monday and Thursday evening between 7 and 9.30, except for over the festive period.

A spokesperson for the cadets said: “Understandably, many of our activities relate to aviation and the military but we try to keep our programme varied with a range of interesting activities.

‘‘For instance, you could learn to fly an aircraft solo, travel abroad, work towards your Duke of Edinburgh awards and earn real qualifications such as BTECs or First Aid certificates.

“Our many activities include archery, athletics, camps, canoeing, classwork, climbing, cross-country running, drill, Duke of Edinburgh, fieldcraft, First Aid, flying and gliding, football, hockey, kayaking, leadership, mountain biking, netball, overseas caps, projects, rugby, skiing, social events and target shooting, to list a few.

“Are you up for fun, adventure, incredible experiences and making new friends? Are you looking for something to give you the edge in life? Then welcome to the Air Cadet Organisation (ACO). Better known as the ‘Air Cadets’, we’re a UK-wide cadet force with more than 40,000 members aged between 13 and 20 years.

“We’re sponsored by the Royal Air Force and can give you hands-on experience of activities and courses that will challenge and develop your skills to help you succeed in whatever you want to do.

“The ACO is made up of two areas: Air Training Corps - The ATC is the RAF’s cadet force, divided into six regions, 36 wings and more than 900 squadrons within communities around the UK

‘‘Combined Cadet Force (RAF) - The CCF (RAF) is our section of the CCF which is made up of cadets from all three services, coming together in approximately 200 independent and state schools across the country.

“Our aims are to: Promote and encourage a practical interest in aviation and the Royal Air Force among young people;

“Provide training which will be useful in the Services and civilian life;

“Encourage the spirit of adventure and develop qualities of leadership and good citizenship.

“If all of this sounds like something you would like to get involved in, then please come along to our open evening on Monday, September 29.

‘‘The squadron will be open from 7.30 to 9pm when we will have displays and demonstrations, and cadets and staff will be on hand to answer any questions you may have. Refreshments will be available.”

Banchory Squadron are on Facebook and Twitter so if you aren’t able to get along on the night, visit their pages for a look at what they get up to.

Cadets and staff have been out collecting on Banchory High Street in support of the Royal Air Force Association’s Wings Appeal.

“Wings Week” is the focus of RAFA’s all-year fund-raising efforts to support serving and ex-RAF personnel and their families.

The spokesperson added: ‘‘As part of the Royal Air Force family, members of the ATC are pleased to give up their time in support of this cause and our thanks goes out to all those who supported us on Saturday and who donated to the appeal.’’

The squadron will be out again in November collecting for Poppy Scotland.

n More information about RAFA’s Wings Appeal can be found here:

http://www.rafa.org.uk/get-involved/wings-appeal