Cadet Forces team up

HMS Collingwood recently played host to nearly eighty cadets from two Combined Cadet Forces who took advantage of some of the excellent facilities at the Base.

The cadets, from St John’s School in Leatherhead and Gravesend Grammar School travelled to the Royal Naval Leadership Academy at HMS Collingwood where instructors tested their mettle on the Academy’s Low Ropes Course.

The course is skilfully designed to teach groups positive communication and the ability to both fit into and lead a successful team.

The Cadets split into groups to tackle different obstacles on the course, including the “Spider’s Web” where they must traverse a series of ropes without touching them, relying on team members to support them as they go. 

Another challenge involves swinging across a “chasm” on a rope which, again, cannot be achieved without working closely as a team.

This was Cadet Izzy Kuhle’s first visit to Collingwood and she described her feelings at first seeing the Low Ropes course.

She said, “We got quite scared when we first saw it, but then we thought ‘we’re in the Navy now!’

“We’re definitely able to transfer the skills we’ve learnt here to the classroom when we get back and here you learn more about what the Navy does and its core values.” 

In contrast, this was Cadet Luke Horner-Long’s second visit to HMS Collingwood and he’d experienced the Low Ropes challenge before.

He said, “The Low Ropes are about team-building and having fun with your friends. You can work out who’s best at each task and who’s best to take command of the group.”

Instructors are on hand to mentor and supervise the Cadets, but they are encouraged to find their way round the Course themselves, teaching and supporting each other and applying the principles of leadership they’ve been taught. 

You can work out who’s best at each task and who’s best to take command of the group.

Cadet Luke Horner-Long