Students get taste of Army life at Catterick Garrison

Calum walking the plank.

Dozens of students from across the region have been taking part in a residential Army Super Camp at Catterick Garrison.

In all about 50 students from the McMillan Academy in Middlesbrough and the Grangefield Academy in Stockton-on-Tees were shown the ropes by military personnel over a 36-hour period stopping overnight at Wathgill Camp on the Catterick Training Area.

Colonel Andy Hadfield, deputy commander of 4th Infantry Brigade at Catterick Garrison, who organised the camp said: “We aim to improve the personal, teamwork and leadership skills of participants through engagement in challenging military themed activities.

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“We seek to promote the breadth of opportunities on offer within the army cadets, junior entry, army reserve and regular army and return participants to their communities with a greater understanding of the British Army.”

On the first day the students were able to enjoy an indoor electronic shooting range, work through command tasks and drill before learning about outdoor survival and cooking and fieldcraft.

On the second day they were introduced to a variety of trades within the Army with stands showing the work of the Royal Military Police, the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, the Royal Artillery as well as Infantry and Medical stands.

Teacher Jo Brack, from Grangefield Academy said the camp had succeed in taking the students away from their home environment and out of their comfort zones.

“I think they have got so much out of it this year. The games they have been playing and the different activities has allowed them to develop their leadership skills and team-building skills. It has really got them out of their comfort zone which has been interesting.

“Much of it has been about character development but they have all really enjoyed every aspect of the camp.”

Calum, 15, who attends Grangefield Academy said he was keen on joining the Army and this had given him even more encouragement.

“One of the best things was the firing range which was a lot of fun. It was full on and everybody got really involved. I have learned to be a lot more disciplined and have been able to make a lot more friends and it just helped me in general.”

Annalise crawling through the mud and splashing through the water trap.

Annalise, 14, attends the McMillan Academy and said the camp had opened her eyes to how many different careers were available in the Army such as medics and military police officers and was not just about weapons and guns.

“I have really enjoyed it and learned a lot of new skills as well as making lots of friends but the highlight was doing the assault course and working with people I would never normally work with.”