Adventure At Western Lynx

Air cadets and  volunteer staff from Devon & Somerset Wing of the Air Training Corps have returned home having completed Exercise Western Lynx. Participation in the exercise gives both staff and cadets the chance, not only to experience several adventure training activities but also to gain nationally recognised qualifications.

All courses start on Friday evening and complete on Sunday afternoon. On Saturday evening all courses assemble at Roadford Lake for the Western Lynx Barbecue and a fun evening on the high ropes course or raft building.

Mountain Biking is a new addition to the Western Lynx programme. While there are no formal qualifications available to young people a course has been devised which will introduce cadets to this activity and provide essential safety and route planning and selection training.

This course involves riding on forest trails, cycle ways and on approved routes around Dartmoor. A reasonable level of fitness and resilience is required.

Western Lynx provides a great opportunity for staff to take part in a new activity, possibly as a starting point on the route to a leaders qualification.

The National Navigation Award Scheme (NNAS) is a personal performance, non-competitive, incentive scheme for all ages to learn navigation skills and gain confidence to get out and enjoy the countryside.

All NNAS courses include advice and information about relevant safety and access issues when walking in the countryside. In addition, an understanding of relevant conservation and environmental issues and awareness of our impacts all form part of each course.

Bronze NNAS Award: Navigation in the countryside using paths tracks and other linear features, basic map interpretation and compass work is included. This is the standard expected of cadets undertaking a Bronze DofE Expedition

Silver NNAS Award: Navigation in the countryside using skills acquired at bronze level and adding skills required to navigate to features and places some distance from paths and tracks, accurate compass work is required and an ability to use appropriate navigational techniques to go across country in some cases, eg. choosing an appropriate attack point. This is the standard expected of a cadet undertaking a Silver DofE Award Scheme or the Ten Tors Challenge.

You will be trained and assessed in lowland and moorland terrain at a level appropriate to your previous experience and speed of learning.

This course does involve some hill walking, but excessively long walks are not undertaken.

The National Indoor Climbing Award Scheme (NICAS) is a UK wide scheme designed to promote climbing development and accredit individual achievement on artificial climbing structures. It can be used as a starting point for people wishing to take up climbing and mountaineering.

The aims of the scheme are as follows:

  • To develop climbing movement skills and improve levels of ability
  • To learn climbing rope-work and how to use equipment appropriately
  • To develop risk assessment and risk management skills in the sport
  • To work as a team, communicate with, and trust a climbing partner
  • To provide a structure for development, motivation and improved performance
  • To develop an understanding of the sport, its history and future challenges
  • To provide a record of personal achievement
  • To point the way to further disciplines and challenges in climbing beyond the scheme

The course will work through the NICAS part one syllabus taking you as far as is possible during the time available, possibly to level 2.

The levels included in Part one are:

Level 1: Foundation Climber
An entry level aimed at novices that recognises their ability to climb safely under supervision.

Level 2: Top Rope Climber
Aimed at promoting good practice in climbing and bouldering unsupervised on an artificial wall.

Paddle Course. An interest in Canoeing can become an all-consuming hobby, exciting, challenging and testing on white water, on the sea or through the numerous competitive disciplines. Choose the level of challenge to suit. Canoe for enjoyment, to keep fit.

The British Canoeing, as governing body of canoeing, has an established range of progressive training courses which begin with skills courses.

The One Star award is a flat water award that demonstrates an individual has basic boat control and foundation skills.

The Two Star award is an improvement award that helps paddlers develop fundamental paddlesport skills on flat water. The emphasis is on gaining a breadth of experience, creating the desired movement of the boat and developing an understanding into how the paddle, boat and water interact.

This course works through the One star award and towards Two star skills.

Note:This course provides the foundation skills required to participate in Ex Blue Salt Blade, an exploration of the Cornish coast by Sea Kayak.

Venture Adventure – Join us at Devon & Somerset Wing.


If you’ve made it to this page then you’re probably looking for a challenge; something to bring out what you’re really capable of. Well, Air Cadets is where you get to prove it – you may even surprise yourself with what you can achieve. Check out this section to answer your questions and help you get started. Joining is only the beginning…


If you’re aged over 20 you can volunteer. That’s it. No need for military experience or any form of previous training – we’ll take care of that. We’re just looking for suitable, enthusiastic individuals to help our cadets get the most from their time with us.

The benefits of being a part of the Air Cadet Organisation are the same for volunteers as for cadets – the opportunity to do lots of exciting activities and develop personal skills and talents. As a volunteer this is free to you! Find out more about volunteering now.