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Cadets - did it make a difference to your teenager?

(66 Posts)
GnomeDePlume Sat 10-Sep-11 18:22:50

DS is wanting to join army/air cadets very soon. I am all in favour of this. I am hoping that this will help him mature a bit and be less droopy. At the moment he spends all his time on the computer/xbox. He has friends but they all seem to be games focussed as well. The cadets is his idea by the way.

If your teenager has done something like cadets how did they change, did they change?

GypsyMoth Sat 10-Sep-11 18:58:32

Dd loves it, totally. All her pocket money gies on cadet 'stuff'
Ds is 13 and started a few weeks ago ( xbox obsessed also) it's motivating him, he really loves it. And has surprised me by getting himself organised.

He can now polish his boots
Iron his own uniform
And unlike at cubs, he doesn't mess around

Well worth it I'd say!

GnomeDePlume Sat 10-Sep-11 20:25:56

Thanks Sara, that is really reassuring.

Do both your DCs belong to the same squadron/detachment? How does that work? Are there any problems? DD2 also wants to join cadets next year but at the moment they are doing the whole 'if you do army cadets then I will do air cadets' thing.

GypsyMoth Sun 11-Sep-11 11:09:23

No problems so far! Took some getting used to regarding getting them dressed into uniform correctly
Same detachment. I got a letter yesterday asking for adult volunteers! I wouldn't have the energy for 2 lots of different cadet groups.

newbielisa Sun 11-Sep-11 11:19:19

I was an air cadet for 4 years and definItaly believe the discipline learnt is invaluable. Plus I did things other kids would never have had the chance to do .. flying planes, shooting, summer camps on RAF bases. I hope my DD will want to go when she's older. I'm biased but it's got to be ATC over army cadets :-)

newbielisa Sun 11-Sep-11 11:20:22

* Definitely blooming autocorrect have a day off

seeker Sun 11-Sep-11 11:21:47

Go for Scouts. It seems completely inappropriate to me for 13 year old to learn about handling army type guns.

jenniec79 Sun 11-Sep-11 11:28:21

I was a cub leader and a CCF cadet in my teens. I did D of E as well. There were different advantages and disadvantages to each.

Cadets certainly wasn't all about handling army type guns seeker. There was a little and all focussed on safety, but far more time spent on outdoor pursuits, swimming, canoing, courses like sailing, handling speed boats safely etc (OK it was Navy cadets how did you tell!) and first aid. Pretty similar to scouting but with a bit more structure.

Of course once it came to using pretty much the same skills on D of E the majority of the disciplined campcraft was out the window, but we had a fab time because we knew how to do it safely and properly and which corners could be trimmed a bit without getting dangerous!

GnomeDePlume Sun 11-Sep-11 14:27:37

Scouts is not an option where we are. Scouts & guides have a strongly religious agenda here (heavy emphasis on Sunday parades) and just as some object to their children being in a military environment I object to mine being in a religious environment. DD1 did actually try guides but as she wasnt available for the Sunday parades this created problems with the group.

We tried St Johns but the group was hopeless and did almost no first aid. All three DCs started but one by one they dropped out.

DS wants to join up when he leaves school (not sure yet whether he will try for army or RAF). I am all in favour of him trying out a disciplined life before he commits.

GypsyMoth Sun 11-Sep-11 16:04:09

Oh yes, and our army cadets also run duke if Edinburgh award scheme

Seeker.......guns? They don't play with guns.......what are you talking about? confused

seeker Sun 11-Sep-11 18:17:54

Where did I say they play with guns?

Dragonwoman Sun 11-Sep-11 18:23:55

When I was a teenager the ATC certainly used to do shooting. We used 303 rifles. Big things for a teenager with a substantial kick & a killing range of 3 miles or so we were told.
Probably different now though.

Dragonwoman Sun 11-Sep-11 18:25:45

I have to say that the ATC was either really great or really not depending on whether you 'fitted in' with the military style ethos. I didn't & left.

orienteerer Sun 11-Sep-11 18:32:21

Having served in the regular Army for 8 years and then 17 years in the TA I can confirm that Cadets do indeed handle weapons. Not sure what age it kicks in though, also with current budget cuts I wouldn't be surprised if the didn't even fire blanksgrin.

seeker Sun 11-Sep-11 18:34:42

Yep. That's what I don't want my kid doing!

argghh Sun 11-Sep-11 18:42:13

My oldest son did cadets. We had just moved to the area and it was a way to make friends, and to get him out the house for two nights a week.
He found all the outdoorsy bits a bit tough but I think it did him good.
Summer camp was a real eye opener for him.
I do remember after a particularly cold and snowy (eek) camp he did say - please dont ever make me do that again !!! I just laughed!

Dragonwoman Sun 11-Sep-11 18:43:04

We started to handle guns from the age of starting which was 13.5 I think. Learned to strip and assemble the guns then when that was mastered started to shoot live rounds at targets. No age limit other than that to join cadets at all.

GypsyMoth Sun 11-Sep-11 19:01:16

You can't control him forever seeker! Hope he doesn't 'rebel'

seeker Sun 11-Sep-11 19:24:08

I hope he does rebel! But there are some things that I find unacceptable. Learning how to use a gun the sole purpose of which is to kill or maim other humans, and simulating manoeuvres which are also designed to kill or maim other humans are on my unacceptable list.

Choufleur Sun 11-Sep-11 19:30:56

Don't let your DC go then Seeker. OP wasn't asking for your approval.

DS is only 5 so obviously too young, but if he wanted to go I wouldn't mind. Also wouldn't mind if he wanted to join something else.

DH did air cadets and then switched to army before joining up. He apparently loved it and it helped him turn around from a skiving lazy arse (in is own words) to someone with a career who now also has a decent civvy career.

seeker Sun 11-Sep-11 19:33:09

Op was talking about the benefits of the cadets. I was putting the opposing view. OK with you?

SazZaVoom Sun 11-Sep-11 19:35:10

Seeker - we used to go to the local rifle range with my Venture Scout unit, so that may not be a 'safe' option.

GypsyMoth Sun 11-Sep-11 19:35:33

I like the gentle discipline too. Dc's buffing up boots and making sure everything is smart and in it's best condition

And annual camp sounds good.....

Oakmaiden Sun 11-Sep-11 19:36:49

Seeker - my son used to do shooting with the scouts too.

sneakybeak Sun 11-Sep-11 19:38:07

I was in Army Cadets. Loved it. Loved the grit of it. The camps, the discomfort (!) mixing with other people.

I'm an Occupational Therapist now, and haven't killed anyone yet smile

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