Summer Camp

Published on 5th May 2018

camp-photo

Introduction

Summer Camp 2019 was at Jersey Camp, Porchfield, Newtown, Isle of Wight from Thu 8 to Fri 16 Aug 2019.  Details of Summer Camp 2020 will be announced soon.

Every day at camp is full of exciting and challenging activities, some of which cadets may not ever tried before.  For many cadets the high point is the chance to spend a number of nights living out in the field, learning naval and military skills and participating in adventurous training.  Cadets will get wet, be tired, and have fun!

Summer Camp gives cadets the opportunity to go away with other cadets from across the VCC family, some of whom often become friends for life. Its a chance to do something different and Meet The Challenge!


Finance

Please note the following:

  • Camp Fees. The cost of Summer Camp 2020 will be £110 per cadet with a 50% deposit paid at time of application.  The balance must be paid to cadets’ units by Monday 1 June 2020 unless otherwise agreed.  Fees paid are not refundable should your child not attend camp or leave the VCC before camp (this is because we will have made financial commitments as part of the planning process).
  • Pocket Money. A maximum of £20 pocket money is also to be paid to cadets’ units by Monday 29 June 2020.  Cadets are not permitted to take more money than this (except for a small amount of change so that they make minor purchases during the journey to camp) so they do not have large sums of money in their accommodation.  Cadets will be able to draw their pocket money at camp for when they make external visits or to use with the Tuck Shop.  Left over pocket money will be given to cadets on the last night so they can make purchases on the journey home.
  • Subscriptions.  All subscriptions, up to and including Jul 2020, are to be fully paid to units’ Finance Officers by Friday 24 July 2020.  Cadets who have not paid their subscriptions up to July 2020 will not be allowed to attend camp and any camp fees paid to that date will not be refunded.

If any of the above conditions pose a problem, please contact your respective unit Welfare Officer to discuss in confidence as we would rather discuss the matter than have a cadet excluded from attending camp.

Please make all cheques payable to your respective VCC unit. If you are paying with cash please obtain a receipt from your unit Finance Officer.


Equipment

Please note the following important information:

  • Equipment List: A list of personal kit is shown at Annex A of the Admin Instruction (to be issued in due course).  All items must be marked clearly, where possible, with the cadet’s surname, initial and cadet number (ideally on the label or other appropriate discreet location).  All items must be brought as this supports the cadets’ welfare and safety aligned to the training programme.  If you are unsure about any items of equipment or do not have them please consult with your VCC unit for guidance.
  • Security. All reasonable precautions will be taken at camp to safeguard personal items of equipment.  However, the VCC is unable to accept liability for the security of, loss of or damage to clothing, personal equipment or other personal items at camp.  It is recommended that suitcases or bags are capable of being secured.  In the event that a spare key is not provided (see below), or subsequently lost by the cadet (they having already lost their primary key) the VCC reserves the right to force open that cadet’s suitcase or bag (so they can access their clothing and equipment) with no liability on the VCC for any damage caused.
  • Luggage. The use of expensive suitcases is not recommended, but luggage must be robust enough to last the journey to camp, a week at camp, and the journey home.  Plastic bags and bin liners are not suitable and therefore not permitted.  A large holdall (often called a ‘grip’) is ideal.
  • Daysack. Cadets may take a daysack or similar small holdall onto the coach but all other luggage will be placed under the coach or in our luggage transport.
  • Keys. Each cadet is to bring two keys for each padlock and suitcase they use.  One key per locker or suitcase is to be kept by them and the other is to be given to nominated staff upon arrival at camp.  These spare keys, which will be kept secure, are to be on a split ring with a luggage label clearly showing the cadet’s surname, initial and number.

Discipline, Welfare and Safety

Forbidden Items

Cadets are not permitted to bring the following items to camp:

  • Knives, daggers and similar sharp instruments.
  • Large music players and/or radios (personal music players are allowed).
  • Tobacco products, alcoholic drinks, low or non-alcoholic beers and alco-pop style drinks.
  • Offensive clothing or materials.
  • Extra money (see above).
  • BB guns, air rifles, air pistols and replica weapons.
  • Portable game consoles.
  • Any drugs not specifically prescribed by a medical practitioner or declared on the medical form. Any prescribed drugs taken to camp by cadets must be clearly shown on their medical form.
  • Mobile telephones (see below).

Disciplinary Action

All cadets are prohibited from possessing or consuming alcohol (including low and non-alcoholic beers and alco-pops) and from possessing or using tobacco.  Any cadet found in possession of any of the above items, drinking alcohol or smoking tobacco will have the relevant items confiscated by staff without liability, and in the case of knives, daggers, weapons, offensive material, alcohol/drinking and/or tobacco/smoking may be subject to disciplinary action including being sent home.

The VCC reserves the right to exclude a cadet from attending Summer Camp (including whilst at camp) if their behaviour falls short of our standards, Code of Conduct and ethos.  In this case, we regret that any fees paid thus far can not be refunded.  In the event of a Cadet being excluded whilst at camp it is their parents/guardians responsibility to travel to the camp location at their own expense and at the earliest opportunity to collect them.

We may also ask for a cadet to be collected by their parents/guardians if they suffer or experience a serious medical issue that the VCC is unable to address during camp, or if a cadet engages in self-harming.

The VCC expects all cadets attending Summer Camp to behave in a way that maintains the good reputation of the Cadet Corps, follows our Cadet Code of Conduct, and is supportive and engaging when dealing with fellow cadets.  The VCC has a zero tolerance towards bullying.

If any serious disciplinary incidents take place at Summer Camp we will do our best to investigate and deal with them whilst there.  However, some matters may need to be investigated afterwards and bearing in mind summer leave this may take a few weeks.  Please bear with us in this regard as its important such maters are looked into fully for the benefit of all those involved.

Mobile Telephones

Whilst we appreciate this may be challenging, we ask that cadets do not take their mobile telephones.  If they are taken the VCC cannot accept liability for loss, damage, theft or misuse if not controlled by the Staff.  Any cadet that takes a mobile phone to camp must hand it to a nominated VCC staff member upon arrival at camp.  The device will be centrally located in a safe place available for emergency use if required by the cadet. It is important, especially for the younger cadets, that communication with parents/guardians is directed through our welfare staff so that any mishaps are reported accurately or any issues are initially dealt with on site – this may save a wasted journey to camp for parents/guardians.

Photography

Our staff will endeavour to take photos and/or videos of the cadets enjoying Summer Camp throughout the week.  However, we are not professional photographers and will be heavily focused on delivering the training programme and ensuring the cadets remain safe and secure.  Please do not be offended if you do not see your child in any photographs or videos, and just because you don’t does not mean they are not there or not enjoying themselves (indeed, some cadets prefer not to be in photographs and videos).  We will make use of our photographs and videos for publicity purposes so if you would rather your child was not featured please let us know before camp.


Personal Issues

Please note the following important points:

  • Haircuts. All cadets are to have had their hair cut in accordance with the VCR’s prior to camp.  Female cadets are expected to be able to manage their own hair and be worn in accordance with the VCR’s. For advice on the VCR’s please speak to a member of your Unit staff.
  • Personal Hygiene. All cadets must shower and change their underwear at least once a day.  Sufficient quantities of underwear and socks must be brought to camp (allow at least two sets per day).
  • Washing and Ironing Clothes. Cadets will also be expected to do their own laundry if necessary.  There are washing machines available at the camp so liquid or powder wash may be taken (to be placed in a sealable plastic bag to guard against being the bottle or packet being split open).  Some guidance from parents/guardians before camp on washing and ironing clothes is therefore encouraged.
  • Diet and Food.  Cadets will be given three meals a day when in camp including a cooked breakfast and a two course dinner.  Lunches will either be a packed lunch if out of camp or a light cooked meal if in camp.  If your son/daughter/ward has any dietary requirements or cannot swim please ensure this is noted on the Parental Consent Form (VCF T1 download from the website).  We aim to provide vegetarian and Halal options at camp, and experience shows that many cadets return from camp having eaten foods they have previously not tried or liked.  Staff will monitor the food and liquid intake of cadets as our activities will be energetic and thus they need to maintain their energy and hydration levels.
  • Medication. Medication where necessary will either be administered by cadets themselves or by one of our first aiders.  Medication will be kept for safe keeping by staff with the exception of asthma inhalers.  Please place any medication for the individual Cadet and full instructions on how to administer the medication in a clear sealable plastic bag, clearly marked with the Cadets Full name, rank and number.  All information must be provided on the enclosed Consent Form (see VCF T1, download from the website), and it is the parent/guardian’s responsibility to keep us updated if any of that information changes.
  • Personal Problems. If any cadet has a personal or medical problem that may cause them or you to question whether they should attend please discuss it with us first in the strictest of confidence.  Normally these can be dealt with and the cadet can still enjoy camp.
  • Visits and Telephone Calls. There is no Parents’ Day at camp and informal visits are not permitted.  For some cadets this is their first time away from home and a certain amount of homesickness is to be expected.  Experience shows that a complete break from home enables cadets to overcome homesickness much quicker.  Similarly, other than for emergencies, parents/guardians are requested not to contact their son/daughter/ward by telephone.  Our staff are very experienced in dealing with welfare issues, and will make contact with parents/guardians if necessary.
  • Emergency Contact Number. The contact number for use only in an emergency will be issued in due course.  Please also ensure we are able to contact whoever you give as your child’s next of kin or emergency contact during the whole of camp.
  • Postcard. Parents/guardians may wish to give their child a stamped self-addressed postcard that can be written on and then posted home.  This gives the cadets the opportunity to tell their parents/guardians just how much they are enjoying camp.
  • Early Collection. In extreme circumstances we may need a cadet to be collected by his/her parents/guardians from camp, possibly due to medical or disciplinary reasons.  The VCC is unable to transport cadets home early should this situation arise so it is the parents/guardians responsibility to ensure they or a designated and approved person can travel to camp to collect their son/daughter/ward. 

Travel Arrangements

  • Timings. Please see the Admin Instruction.
  • Late Arrival/Early Departure. If a cadet is not able to attend the whole of camp then a late arrival and/or early departure is permitted but we must be informed at the time of application and all transport is the responsibility of the parents/guardians.  The cost of camp remains the same however.
  • Return Arrival. The arrival time back after Camp is approximate, depending on traffic.  If the journey is severely delayed an update will be posted on Facebook.  Everything will be done to achieve a timely dismissal but its important no-one departs until all luggage is accounted for and transport is cleaned.
  • Collection. Please ensure your child knows how they are getting home after they have arrived back at respective Base Locations after camp. Please do not just leave your child at their respective Base Locations or drop off point not knowing what time they may be collected (regrettably this has happened); it is not the task of the staff to ensure cadets get home after camp.
  • Dress. Dress for travel is as described in the Admin Instruction.   Leaving berets/Caps and belts behind is a common issue so please ensure all items are packed the previous night.
  • Food and Drink. Cadets and staff on the Main Party are asked to bring a packed lunch for consumption on the coach.  Cadets may bring up to £5.00 in cash with them for spending on the journey to camp, bearing in mind the security of that cash is their responsibility.
  • Travel Sickness. Cadets who suffer from travel sickness are advised to take their medication in good time for the journey.  Please ensure they pack sufficient travel sickness medication for the return journey and journeys whilst at camp.  If your child suffers from travel sickness please ensure this is included on their Medical Form (see below).

Consent and Medical Forms

If not already submitted, please ensure a Parental Consent form (VCF T1) has been submitted to your cadet’s unit.  This form is available from unit Admin Offices or our website (http://volunteercadetcorps.org/forms/).  Please also use the form to let us know of any dietary requirements and if your child cannot swim (we need to pass this on to the adventure training provider as some activities may be on the water).


Conclusion

If you have any questions regarding Summer Camp please contact your respective unit’s Training Officer by email or telephone, or visit the Summer Camp Facebook page (link to follow).

Please read all the information we send out carefully and ensure you know what equipment and uniform to pack, and where to drop off and collect your child before and after camp.  All the details you need to know will be included so please read through thoroughly before asking any questions.  A Parents’ Briefing will be held in June or July, the date will be announced in due course.

We hope you child has an enjoyable time at Summer Camp.