Cadet Sam Johnson. Credit Minden Detachment Army Cadets


How Cadets Have Been Staying Connected In Lockdown

Challenges and competitions are just some of the ways cadets in the UK have kept busy

Cadet Sam Johnson. Credit Minden Detachment Army Cadets

Cadets up and down the country have not let the lockdown stop them from meeting virtually and carrying on with activities from the safety of their own homes.

They have been taking part in a number of new challenges and activities, adapted just for the lockdown.

Second Lieutenant Abigail Robertson, Detachment Commander of the Stanley Detachment Army Cadets, explained that activities such as 'virtual detachment nights' helps to keep the cadets interested and gives them something other than school work to focus on. She said:

“While continuing to have communication with cadets we can continue to check up on their welfare and hope to prevent any young person feeling alone.”

Stanley Cadets Virtual Section Shelter Challenge. Credit Abigail Robertson

The Stanley Detachment, which is part of the Amy Cadet Force's Korea Company, has been taking part in a Virtual Section Challenge.

Cadets, prior to lockdown, would normally have been set a challenge in the first 15 minutes of their parade night, which they would have had to complete in their sections.

The cadets wanted to carry on with the challenges, so decided to take this online when the parade nights became virtual via video conferencing.

Some of the cadets made use of the skills they had developed playing Lego-style construction video game Minecraft to complete a challenge to build a shelter in their own homes.

The Korea Company Instructors have also been spotted on TikTok entertaining their cadets.


Korea Coy Black Watch Bn Army Cadet Instructors do the Fridge Challenge ##fyp##fridgechallenge##boredathome##armycadets

♬ Funky Town - The Dance Queen Group

In Bury St Edmonds, the Minden Detachment was one of the first to take its  parade nights online.

For their challenge, the cadets are taking on the 7.5 challenge, launched for VE Day, in which participants carry out the equivalent of 7.5 miles or 7.5km of exercise or other exercise to the value of 75, such as 75 push ups, or the equivalent of a 75km bike ride.

The exercises could be carried out in one stint or over mulitple sessions during the month of May, following VE Day on May 8.

Detachment Commander John Tillotson led the way after the cadets encouraged him to take the lead with the equivalent of a 75km bike ride.

Cadets went on multiple short bike rides as part of their permitted daily exercise under the COVID-19 restrictions, until reaching their 75km goal.

They had set themselves a target of raising £3,000 during the month of May, and had already raised £2,000 by May 7.

The money raised will go to the St John Ambulance and the Suffolk Community Foundation.

Cadet Cpl Jenna Wright taking part in the 7.5 Challenge. Credit Minden Detachmen

Making the meetings and activities virtual was an important step to keep young people interested in the cadets. Detachment Commander John said: 

“When the lockdown is over I didn’t want to go back and have none of the cadets come back.”

In their online meetings, on video conferenceing app Zoom, the cadets have also been teaching lessons on subjects such as map reading and keeping fit, and they have created a timetable to help those managing with school work. 

RAF Air Cadets 323 Epsom & Ewell Squadron, also took their parade nights online.

CI Matt Heal, their civilian instructor who works for BFBS Creative, also delivered smartphone video production lessons. The cadets are now filming themselves taking part in the challenges they set.

Cl Heal talked of how the cadets, like many others across the country, have adapted to the new way of taking part, saying:

"We have instilled a new confidence in our cadets as they are now lesson planning between themselves."