Over 9 days of Essex Army Cadets’ virtual Annual Camp 2020, 420 took part in 50 sessions on Zoom.
150 cadets and instructors attended the opening address by the Commandant, Colonel Leona Barr-Jones via Zoom, marking the official start of Virtual Annual Camp 2020 on 28th July.
A team of County and Company HQ staff worked together to refine the training program and ensure seamless delivery online.
Public Relations Officer for Essex ACF, SMI Steve Davis vowed: “Whilst we may not all be able to be together physically this year for Annual Camp, we will still make it the fun experience all of our cadets and instructors know and love.”
Steve kept a detailed log of each day of Annual Camp 2020, as is the tradition each year, to keep parents and loved ones informed of the exceptional experiences the Cadets take part in during Annual Camp.
W01 Lightfoot, RSM of CTC Frimley Park sent in a video. He said how the senior cadets and instructors of Essex have held “impeccable standards” and been “a pleasure to teach” on their visits to Frimley Park in previous years.
National ACF Champion Big Phil also sent in a video. He said there had been “massive changes since I saw you all at Pirbright last year” and he encouraged the cadets of Essex to “keep being extremely cool getting involved in things”.
There are many photos in Steve’s daily log of expertly crafted fake wounds, all of which are too graphic to show here, including the eye wound and arm wound from the Day 5 log. Many photos show cadets in their tents, cooking food outdoors and attending virtual lessons.
On the last day of Annual Camp 2020, the Commandant awarded the Annual trophies, and went on to give the results of the virtual Annual Camp Competitions. All of the cadets were awarded points for attending lessons and entering competitions. These points were totalled up for each Company, with the winners being D Coy.
The most talked about competition of camp was the t-shirt design challenge. The winning entry will have their t-shirt made, and one will be given to every person that participated in this year’s virtual camp. The winner was Cdt Sgt Thrower from Leigh on Sea detachment, C Coy with a design that included a tent and a computer screen with a depiction of a zoom lesson.
The Commandant finished by giving her thanks to all of the instructors whose hard work and effort made Virtual Annual Camp possible. She added: “I want all Adults and Senior Cadets to leave this Virtual Annual Camp knowing that they have been a role model and an inspiration to all of the cadets that have been with us over the last two weeks; the cadets have all achieved great things, some more than they ever thought was possible and the instructors of the county have absolutely put them on the road to becoming the best that they can be.”