Over February half-term, sixth former Jemima, a CCF cadet, attended one of the courses being offered by the Cadet Centre for Adventure Training (CCAT), which is designed to teach students the basics of Nordic Skiing on high-level terrain. The trip included an overnight ski tour and was based in a particular area of Norway, made famous by the courageous actions of the heroes of Telemark during WW2.
Jemima said, “There are so many exciting opportunities available to cadets through CCAT, that I thought I would be mad not to take full advantage of one of them at half-term.”
Jemima shares some of her experiences from the trip with us.
“The trip began with a chance meeting of Bill Bailey at the airport, although sadly he did not join the Nordic skiing course! I soon met the other people on the trip and was excited about sharing my adventure with them.
The first couple of days were spent learning basic Nordic ski skills and going out on a few short tours, including some off-piste skiing over a frozen lake and making fresh tracks! One morning we did an 8km tour, which is some distance but I loved every minute of it. After our technique improved, we went out for a night ski in the pitch black and used only the moonlight and the stars to find our way around. It is a good job the skies were clear in Norway! We then spent some time fine-tuning our navigation skills and planned our route ready for the overnight ski tour ahead. One afternoon we also visited the Industrial Workers Museum called Vermork, and learnt about the History of Telemarking, which was far more interesting than I originally thought it was going to be!
On Day 4 the overnight ski tour expedition began. The whole of the first section was an exhausting ascent, and turned into a test of our stamina. However, the views at the top were breathtaking and were a reward for all our hard work! We then toured the Handangervidda Plateau and the scenery was never boring. We finished by doing an exciting night ski during which we had to use an extended line to return to the hut; not one of us used a head torch thus visibility was a barrier, but with the help of the extended line, we managed to make it back safely. This night ski adventure took us out of our comfort zones, but we felt a real sense of achievement when we made it!”
Jemima concludes, “All in all what a week! The course far exceeded my expectations – life was good!”
CCAT courses are challenging, inspirational and fun and help develop the qualities of teamwork, leadership and self-reliance that we teach our cadets in Oakham School’s Combined Cadet Force. As part of Oakham’s CCF programme, our cadets experience their own Adventurous Training course every October Service Weekend in Wales, with further activities on offer at the March Service Weekend and summer camps we run.