Cadets amazing Borneo trip

AIR cadets enjoyed an amazing experience trekking through the jungles of South East Asia. A party of seven cadets and three leaders from 2484 (Bassingbourn) squadron were part of a larger group of cadets from around the country who visited Singapore a

AIR cadets enjoyed an "amazing experience" trekking through the jungles of South East Asia.A party of seven cadets and three leaders from 2484 (Bassingbourn) squadron were part of a larger group of cadets from around the country who visited Singapore and Borneo as part of Exercise Tropics Eagle. And they got more than they bargained for when their flights were cancelled because of the volcanic ash cloud, meaning their stay was extended by a week.Sergeant Becky Charter, one of the cadets on the trip, said it went "very well"."Experiencing a new culture gave me a better insight of how people live in Borneo and survive off the jungle. "It was an amazing experience which none of us will forget."Before starting the jungle expedition the group paid a visit to a local school to hand out gifts they had brought with them.They then spent three days in the rainforest, setting up camp, collecting firewood, and overcoming obstacles including steep inclines and torrential rain. Civilian Instructor Gemma Brown said: "As the expedition progressed the cadets honed their jungle skills and became more proficient in erecting their hammocks.

"Day three consisted of a short trek to a river where they had rafts to take them back to their base camp.

"A journey that took three days on foot lasted just two hours on the water. Those two hours included an impromptu raft race and a relaxing swim."

Following the trek, cadets and staff took part in a two-day community project which involved helping to restore a rickety rope bridge. And they paid their respects at the Kundasang memorial, which was built in 1962 and serves as a memorial to the 2,428 Australian and British prisoners who died during World War II at the Sandakan prisoner of war camp. Cadet Sergeant Claire Kelly said: "The trip was amazing, certainly a once-in-a-lifetime experience. "Visiting the school and seeing the smiles on the faces of the pupils when we handed over gifts was fantastic. "We are all proud of our achievements and it is something we will never forget."To fund the trip, the cadets held months of fundraising, with activities such as bag packing at Royston Tesco, discos, and jungle-themed parties, along with generous support from groups, including the Royston and District Round Table and the Rotary Club of Royston.The 2484 (Bassingbourn) Squadron is open to youngsters from 13-17. For more information contact 01763 249156 or visit the website

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