From Skills for Life to the RAF [cadets]

Cadet Corporal Lucy Peters ATC (aged 17) 1475 (Dulwich) Squadron ATC, London UK

Lucy Cadet Blog 1

I took part in the 19 day Skills for Life Award in the Lake District, Cumbria. This particular Outward Bound award was an excellent way for me to build up the skills necessary for the working world and throughout life. It was also an unforgettable experience where I met many new and interesting people from across the world.

After a long journey last July, the arrival to Penrith saw me astounded by the fabulous views of the countryside, having lived in a city my entire life. I was also able to mix with other people on the course quickly as the environment was relaxed and friendly. After three weeks at Outward Bound Ullswater in the Lake District I became accustomed to the fresh air, green landscape, and most of all the noisy sheep! This is, however, an aspect of my time on the course that I will miss, alongside my teammates and the challenging, yet rewarding, expeditions which we embarked on.

The course offered many exciting activities such as 4-day expeditions, gorge walking and canoeing, many of which I had never undertaken before. I had completed other awards and activity camps before, such as Bronze DofE and PGL, but the Skills for Life award was the most unforgettable experience out of all of these, perhaps due to the intensity of the course and the immersive experience which it provides. When you are out on the expedition alone, you really begin to think about and appreciate the people that you are with, and the fact that you must motivate each other- and yourself- in order to complete the task at hand.

I feel that the Skills for Life Award has better equipped me to carry out my responsibilities in my Squadron Lucy

I was always fully supported by my instructors, not only in the team activities but also the 1:1 sessions on my future and career path, which really helped to guide me in the right direction and understand my options. I am also in a leadership role with the Air Cadets and I feel that the Skills for Life Award has better equipped me to carry out my responsibilities in my Squadron.

I took away many different skills and attitudes which I could carry with me throughout life. During the course, I learnt about Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People® and that there is no time to worry about the current situation; we must be proactive and work to change it, and persevere when times get tough. Before the course perseverance and self-confidence was something that I struggled with. However, during the course, I realised that having self confidence is essential for success as through myself I am able to motivate others around me in order to complete given tasks, especially when the rain refuses to stop pouring down on you or when you are baking in the heat of the summer sun during an expedition.

Overall my time on the course allowed me to reach my full potential and learn not only about myself, but also about my friends in more depth. I pushed the boundaries in the face of the wild and my own exhaustion, and I learned to go just that little bit further without giving up. The Skills for Life award is an experience which I took on with an open mind, to challenge and change myself for the better and to create the most incredible memories. This is definitely not an opportunity to pass up on- take this chance whilst you can, and you will have the time of your life. I thank the Ullswater staff and instructors for facilitating this incredible experience and I am grateful to my Air Cadets Squadron for supporting me to attend this course.

Thank you all.