2158 (Sevenoaks) Squadron Air Training Corps

Frequently Asked Questions

Cadets

How old do I have to be to join?

You must be between 13-17 years old to join.

Do I have to wear a uniform?

Yes, after you have completed your basic training you will be issued with a blue uniform free of charge.

How often do you get to fly?

Each cadet should get at least one flight of around 20 minutes per year. But this depends on your commitment and attendance, and there often far more opportunites to go flying!

What other activities do cadets participate in?

There is a huge range of adventure training activities cadets can get involved in.  Some that cadets at 2158 have been involved in recently are: Caving, climbing, camping, indoor skydiving, hiking, parachuting and kayaking . We also do a whole host of other things like leadership training/exercises, visits to various interesting places, such as our recent firestation visit and sports such as athletics, rugby, football and swimming.  Check out the photo gallery and the video gallery for a better idea.

What else will I do at cadets?

Cadets take part in a wide variety of activities; all cadets are required to follow the training syllabus, which includes lessons in more theoretical subjects linked to the RAF and Cadets, various practical elements such as shooting and first aid, and the oportunity to participate in projects like photography and aircraft modeling.  All this is in addition to a large number of adveture training activities cadets are involved with.

Do I have to attend on both Tuesdays and Thursdays?

No, it's not compulsory. However, you WILL miss out on training and activities if you don't attend as often as you can. The training can lead to you being eligible for other activities so it is in your interest to attend regularly.

What do you mean when you say it is a disciplined organisation?

While you are a member of the ATC, you wear the uniform of the Royal Air Force. As such we expect you to abide by the rules of dress and conduct shown by our parent service; discipline enforces this and also develops your confidence and teamworking skills.

Parents

How much does it cost?

Our subscriptions are currently £108 per year. This allows us to provide activities, transport and equipment for the cadets as well as other training. Some activities may cost an extra amount in order to cover extra costs, such as hiring minibuses or to cover course costs. 

Many of the activities such as flying, gliding, shooting, and sports are completely free.

What if I can't afford it because I am on state benefit?

If money is a problem, please chat to the staff of the squadron and we will work around the problem. We operate a welfare fund to provide for the cadets in times of hardship; no-one is excluded because they cannot afford it.

What about the security and safety of my child?

All adult staff are vetted by the Criminal Records Bureau and the Ministry of Defence before they are accepted as a member of the organisation and allowed to supervise cadets alone.

All activities are run by adult staff with nationally recognised qualifications; for example, hill walking requires staff with a minimum of the Basic Expedition Leaders Award and shooting requires an RAF Range Certificate.

Is cadets just a way of recruiting my child for the RAF?

Absolutely not.  Cadets is a youth orgainisation, and whist if your child is interested in joining the RAF, the ATC is a great place to find out more about the RAF and we are more than happy to help cadets persue a career in the armed services, a desire to do so is in no way necessary to be a cadet.

Am I expected to get involved?

Indirectly, yes - in some cases we may not be able to provide transport to an activity and then you would be expected to get your child to the activity. This is not very often. We do ask that you support your child in their chosen activity and support the squadron where you can; this includes ensuring your child attends regularly and also that you communicate any absences with us. If on the other hand, you would like to help directly as an instructor then please click here and let us know.

How much commitment is expected?

Your child will get out what they put in; regular attendance will ensure they get opportunities to do everything the Corps offers. Attendance two nights a week and at weekend activities will develop their skils immensely.

What do you hope to achieve on the squadron?

By the time your son/daughter leaves Sevenoaks squadron, we aim to have produced a young adult with a sense of social responsibility and duty; we intend to impart self-confidence, self-reliance and develop all of their teamwork and leadership skills immensely. 

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