Activities in Air Cadets


Flying & Gliding

Joining the Air Cadets opens up lots of opportunities, including the chance to fly! It’s our aim to get you airborne as often as possible, as a passenger in a light aircraft or a glider.
Stand out from the crowd and you could be put forward for an overseas flight on a Hercules, VC10 or Tri-Star aircraft. If you’re really lucky you could even join a pilot in one of our fast-jet aircraft like the Tornado or Eurofighter or experience the unbeatable exhilaration of a Red Arrows flight!
Throughout the year the squadren will be offered flying spaces, if your lucky you can be picked to fly!

Adventure Training

Adventurous Training is an essential part of the Air Cadet's training syllabus and the place where team effort really matters - you'll build new friendships, and learn to rely on the other people youre with to get the job done. It also lets you show off your leadership qualities.

Something for everyone

Remember, whatever your personal tastes, nothing is compulsory. There is a wide range of adventurous activities to get stuck into, so if climbing isn't for you perhaps canoeing is. Sometimes what's on offer depends on the squadron you attend, but everything you do is supervised by qualified staff who will ensure you get the most out of it safely. Here at Hutton we run a wide range of activities including:

- Archery
- First Aid courses
- Navigation lessons
- Obstacle course days
- Duke of Edinburgh expeditions

And many more! Between local activities and visits to camps, you will have the chance to experience kayaking, hill walking, camping, caving, mountain biking, offshore sailing and winter sports to name just a few.

Duke of Edinburgh

You may of heard of the DofE (Duke of Edinburgh) Award, but don't know what it is or whether it's for you. Well, it's for everyone who likes a challenge. Their mission is simple - 'to inspire, guide and support young people in their self-development, and recognise their achievements'.

To put it another way, they help you succeed. With the same sense of adventure that drew you to the Air Cadets in the first place, the DofE takes you through a programme of activities that will leave you a more confident, motivated and capable person.

We're proud to be the DofE Award's largest participant.

Taking it to the next level

If you're 14 or over, then you can begin - just ask the instructors in your squadron and they'll help you get started. For more information now on everything DofE, follow any of the links on this page to visit their official website. DukeEdin

There are three levels which, when successfully completed, lead to a Bronze, Silver or Gold DofE Award. And it's never too late to get in on the action - depending on your age you may be able to jump straight in at Silver or Gold level!

There are four sections at Bronze and Silver level and five at Gold:
  • Volunteering - Get involved providing services to individuals or the community and make a difference to other people's lives
  • Physical - Get active and improve your skills and fitness in sport, dance or other physical activities - it's your choice
  • Skills - Find new interests and get new talents (or perfect existing ones), with increased practical and social skills
  • Expedition - Get outdoors and plan, train for and complete an adventurous journey in the UK or abroad - an unbeatable experience
  • Residential - Only at Gold level. Getting to the Gold level is a big deal and this last stage could see you going to another country, sharing tasks and activities with people you've never met. It'll test your mettle, and set you up for what life throws at you in the future

Go for Gold!

It's not a walk in the park. You'll get your DofE Award through persistence and commitment - but as an Air Cadet you'll already know all about that. Over time you'll develop personally and welcome each new challenge. At the end of it all you'll have the world’s leading achievement award for young people under your belt, recognised by employers and universities alike.

But there's one person who'll truly appreciate that achievement the most - you.

For more information visit  


Shooting is one of the key skills you will learn within your time in air cadets. There are varying levels of shooting that you will be able to partake in, these range from .177cal air rifle right up to the 7.62cal L81A2 rifle.

The shooting you will experience in cadets will always be in a safe and monitored environment with fully trained and qualified staff. ALL shooting is done on target boards and is done in a prone stationary position with the exception of air rifles which can be fire in the kneeling, seated or standing positions as well.

At Hutton we are very privileged with possessing our very own air rifle range. It is a 10 metre range and allows for all cadets to be able to shoot at some point during their time at cadets.

If you are skilled enough at shooting you will be able to achieve a marksman. There are 4 marksmanship awards you can gain and one shooting competition award.

The marksmanship levels are the following:

- Squadron Marksman
- Wing Marksman
- Regional Marksman
- Corps Marksman

*Also available is the CADET 100 award which is issued to only the top 100 shooters across all 4 cadets services.


Hutton Squadron has developed an supreme record for competing and winning the inter squadron sports competitions.

We compete in the following sports:

- Athletics
- Football
- Rugby
- Hockey
- Netball
- Swimming
- Cross-Country
- Archery

Success in any of these sports may result in you being able to represent and compete at Wing, Regional and Corps (National) levels.

Drill and Public Parades

What's the point of drill and parade? You may think it doesn't have much to do with things like adventure training, or leadership. That's not the case at all! It shows how disciplined and organised you can be as an individual, remembering instructions and carrying them out accurately and smartly. More importantly, it shows your ability to work in a team and it is a way of displaying the high standards of dress and behaviour which the air cadets are renowned for.


When a group of cadets walk on to a parade square they are all individuals, but as soon as a session of drill begins the cadets become a team, following the orders given by one person. Instead of twenty individual feet hitting the ground, there is only one sound. This is the result of hard practice and teamwork.

Drill is also used when you are moving around in large groups in a smart, orderly fashion. Whatever the reason for drill it's an impressive sight and shows civilians and members of the Forces just how well disciplined we are.

As a cadet you'll participate in various forms of drill, such as:

- Foot Drill
- Basic Drill (both quick & slow time)
- Banner Drill
- Band Drill

With a few years experience, and if you've attained a Non-Commissioned Officer rank, you could pass on your knowledge and experience to other cadets, instructing them on how to participate in a drill squad, taking charge of a drill squad yourself, or even playing a major part in ceremonial drill. Being a Standard Bearer at a Remembrance Day parade is a real moment of pride and achievement for a cadet.


We're sure you've got it by now, but Air Cadets is not about taking it easy - it's about seeing what you're made of. Camps get you out and about and give you a taste of what RAF personnel experience in their day to day lives.

They're also some of the most enjoyable and memorable things you'll do. Usually based around adventurous activities (especially field craft), this is where you take control of your new abilities and put them to the test.

Your first taste will be weekend camps, run by your squadron. These allow time for more intensive training than during your regular parade nights, but can fit into a weekend and not interfere with school holidays. You could be doing all kinds of things like orienteering, over-night exercises or other specialised training.

Annual camps

Once you're used to local camps you'll want more. Every year, you're given the opportunity to attend a camp on an operational RAF station. These camps last a week (normally Saturday to Saturday or Wednesday to Wednesday) with the purpose of getting you even closer to Service life. As an air cadet, you'll fit right in.

You'll sleep in RAF accommodation blocks, eat at the airmen's mess and visit the various sections around the station. You'll meet the base personnel, as well as take part in sports, quizzes, aircraft recognition competitions and any social activities which may be available. There will be drill, uniform and room inspections, and everything will earn points for you as an individual and for your team. Cadets over 16 may receive a work experience placement whilst on the camp where they see first-hand, exactly what a job within the Royal Air Force involves.

Everyone will normally get a flight in one of the Air Experience Flight's Tutor aircraft and being on an RAF station puts you in a perfect position to get opportunity flights on other aircraft which may have a few spare seats. Helicopter flight anyone?

Each RAF station has an Air Cadet Liaison Officer (ACLO) who will ensure that the camp runs smoothly and that you get support and as many opportunities to do things as possible.

Overseas camps

This is where it gets really interesting! Once you've attended annual camp, proven yourself as a leader and have reached the age of 15, you're ready for an overseas camp at one of our RAF stations in Gibraltar, Cyprus or Germany.

These camps are more relaxed as all of you involved are pretty experienced by this point. There's less focus on drill and inspections and more on the other aspects of camp, such as work experience with RAF personnel and looking around local towns (like Limassol in Cyprus) and exploring historical sites like the Gibraltar tunnels.

An overseas camp is a must and it's not surprising that places are limited. Applying for one is just the beginning - you may have to fend off competition from within your own squadron to get an interview. Only after this will you discover if you've been chosen to attend an overseas camp and become the envy of your squadron!

Fieldcraft & Leadership Skills

Aside from all the great experiences and new skills you'll gain as an air cadet, you can also take away real qualifications that will set you apart from the crowd when you head to university or begin your chosen career.
As you become more experienced as a cadet you'll take on extra responsibilities and have further opportunities to develop your self-confidence and leadership skills. Formal leadership training activities and courses are provided were they will teach you all the management and leadership skills that you can apply to both your cadet and civilian life. This is where you can really get noticed!
Leadership training allows you to prove your worth as leader - a skill that will build your confidence and your ability to deal with different kinds of people. If you can handle it you could get to the Junior Leaders course - its gruelling but what you get out of it will be invaluable to you for the rest of your life.

Other field craft skills you can learn through the air cadets include:
- Camping
- Outdoor cooking
- Camouflage & Concealment exercises