Teenagers put through their paces at military camps

Sheffield teenagers were among those put through their paces at a series of army camps.
Sheffield teenagers were among those put through their paces at a series of army camps.
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Sheffield teenagers were among those given an insight into armed forces life at a series of camps at Catterick, North Yorkshire.

The young people from youth groups and schools in Sheffield, Huddersfield and Bradford are part of a week of one and two-day camps being piloted by 4th Infantry Brigade, the regional brigade for Yorkshire and the North East.

The camps are designed to give participants an insight into life in the armed forces

The camps are designed to give participants an insight into life in the armed forces

More than 270 teenagers are tackling everything from fitness to fieldcraft and problem-solving tasks to a military assault course.

The camps will give the young people an insight into what the army does and what it can offer them as a member of the Army Cadet Force youth organisation, as a member of the Officer Training Regiment if they go to university or as a possible career in the future.

Maz Hussain, a youth worker with the Abbeydale and Sharrow Forum in Sheffield, said the courses had built confidence in participants.

"We brought some kids who don’t even speak to other kids in the playground or even around our community," Maz said.

"It is really surprising how they have engaged with everyone.

“Even I and the other workers that have come from the forum are surprised as well and it is really good because it is not a chance you get every day.

"It’s like a one off and obviously after doing this kind of course it is showing what’s out there."

Maz said more needed to be done to give youngsters an insight into army life.

“I think we need more opportunities like this. We need to show people what it is really about and that will build a massive relationship with the army as well," Maz said.

“They (the young people) do love asking questions. A lot of them are saying they are really enjoying it.

"They are talking to the other groups, interacting so well with the other kids and I think it is really good that they are doing that.”

The teenagers have learnt how to cook rations in the field and how to put up an army basha (temporary shelter).

They have also learnt about camouflage.

“We want them to return home with a better understanding of the roles and opportunities that exist within the army and also a better perception of the armed forces as a whole,” Lieutenant Colonel Mark Hunter, organiser of the ’supercamps’ week, said.

“The supercamp is particularly important as it is a national pilot and once it has proved a success, we intend to roll it out across the UK.”

Defence Minister Earl Howe, who met some of the students and their leaders earlier in the week said: “These camps will educate young people and help the Army build close and long lasting ties with local communities.

“An incredible amount of work is being done to ensure these 'supercamps’ are a success and I look forward to seeing more of them taking place across the country.”