THE Air Training Corps has lowered its joining age, allowing youngsters in Year 8 at school to get involved and enjoy the thrills of aviation, action and adventure which are on offer.
Cadets can join 372 (Barry) Squadron at any time up to their 17th birthday and can stay in the Corps, until they turn 20.
The change comes after much deliberation and is aimed at bringing the Air Training Corps into line with other uniformed youth organisations. The change takes effect from 1 August 2014.
Commandant Air Cadets, Air Commodore Dawn McCafferty, said: “After consultation with our staff and volunteers, we concluded that lowering of the entry age for air cadets would achieve three key objectives.
“Firstly it would allow more young people to enjoy the many activities on offer in the air cadets; it would also stop the splitting of school year friendship groups based purely on date of birth, and finally it would align us with other uniformed youth organisations who already allow Year 8 students to join.
“Hopefully, this will help us recruit more cadets who will then go on to achieve success in our organisation be that in aviation-related activities or via the many other opportunities on offer.”
Air Cadets have the opportunity to fly in the Grob tutor aircraft and vigilant glider, often taking control under pilot supervision. Brave cadets can try aerobatics! Better still is that flying and gliding is free! Cadets can also try their hand at abseiling, canoeing, hill walking, camping, navigation, shooting and teambuilding exercises. The Squadron is also actively involved and successful at all levels of the Duke of Edinburgh award scheme. The Cadets general fitness, skills and team working are always encouraged to improve through – football, rugby, hockey, netball, athletics, archery and swimming.
Air Cadets also have the opportunity to visit a Royal Air Force station for 1 – 2 weeks in the UK and overseas; living and breathing the Royal Air Force at first hand as well as participating in the annual trip to the battlefields and memorials of world war one in Belgium and France.
The Cadets also support their community - fundraising and providing hands on assistance to many local organizations; raising over £7,000 in the last year.
Cadet Pippa Cowles said “Air Cadets is great fun and we get to do loads of exciting activities all the time; there are so many cool activities to sign up to whilst also learning some great skills for life”.
If you have a spirit for adventure, 372 (Barry) Squadron has vacancies for boys and girls between 12-17 years old. The Squadron parade on Mondays and Wednesdays 7 - 9.30pm, behind Adams Funeral Parlour or you can email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.372squadron.org or phone the Squadron on 01446 747734 for more information about joining.