Your memories of Exchanges 

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For those who have been fortunate to have spent a summer on an exchange the memories are varied and amazing. We invite you to submit in about 250 words or less any story you would like to share. Be sure to include your name and original cadet corps and year the story takes place in if possible.

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Outward Bound Wales 2005
What an amazing summer. This was without a doubt the best summer I have ever had. Having met 23 other cadets and 2 officers in my exchange, I have created great relationships with each and every person. Six weeks with these people and the places we went to was not enough and I surely do miss them! This is how the summer went down...

I left BC for Ottawa on the 4th of July and spent 5 days in Connaught National Army Cadet Summer Training Center for a pre-course before going to the United Kingdom. During these 5 days, we had fitness tests, the ironman competition, shooting, swim test, receiving kit needed for travel and pretty much the need to know information about the trip. We left on the 8th of July and headed down to Heathrow International Airport where our trip officially started. 

Our first Destination was to Tenby, Wales where Penally training Camp was located. It was about an 8 hour trip to get there. Oh man was it long. Penally Training Camp is a Combined Cadet Force camp and so there were a lot of different schools there. We got split up into 3 groups and to 3 schools and spent about a week in the camp. We went adventure training, kayaking, shooting, 24 hour training and more. That place had the best beaches and they were beautiful. 

Our next camp was Capel Curig and we spent around 4-5 days there. That week was mostly touring. We went to castles, we saw a men's choir who were really good, went to a Royal Air Force Base and to a lot more places. Then we went to Sennybridge Training Camp. There we went to Cardiff, the capital city of Wales and toured in that area. We went shopping, went to the Cardiff Castle, went to Brecon and got to see the city side of Wales. 

Our third week was all about the adventure training. We went to an adventure training camp and we had a choice of 1 or the 4, kayaking, canoeing, hiking and rock climbing. I chose kayaking and I had a lot of fun. The other choices I hear were also a lot of fun and I wished that we all could do each one. One week was not enough. That was our last week in Wales.

At this point we were in England. Our camp here was called Browndown training camp and it was an Army Cadet Force Training camp.We spent about a week there. In this camp we shot LSWs, had a 24 hour training, went to museums and went to a port. We also had a disco, which was pretty funky but the choice of music was alright..all techno.

Our last camp was St. Martin's Plain camp. Here all three UK exchanges were together to tour London and France. First we went to Dover Castle and we had tea there. It was just the OBW females and Captain Heidel. It was really fun and really good too!... The next day we went to London. We went to Greenwich, the queen's house, had a ferry tour, and then we went to the London Eye. The London eye was really cool. It was a giant ferris wheel. We had about an hour of free time to eat supper then we went back to camp. The day after we went to the war museum which was awesome and after we had the whole afternoon to check out the city of London by ourselves with our friends. It was really fun but crowded. We all met up at Buckingham Palace and after we took some pictures and went back to the camp. Our last touring day was in France and it was awesome. We went to 2 historic Canadian sites and had supper at Calai. That was a packed up day!

After all that it was time to go back to Canada. It was the 10th of August when we left the UK and we got back to Connaught the same day at around 1900 hrs. We got all of our sleeping stuff and our luggage and slept. The next day was all de-kitting and making sure that everything was all good for everyone to go home. The last day of the whole exchange was a sad day. Knowing that we might not see all of the people we were for months or years was saddening to realize. We got our course reports that day, packed, and made sure everything was ready to go home. At 1900hrs we had our grad parade and after people started to go home. 

I am surely going to miss everyone from OBW 2005. This was a once in a lifetime experience. You guys were the best and I will never forget you all! This was the best summer of my life and if I could do it again with the same people, I would do it in a heartbeat! You guys were awesome and hopefully we'll see each other soon. 

C/CWO Sharon Ong
2947 12 Service Battalion
Richmond, BC
Summer 2005

22 Aug 2006