This is a report about the activities that took place, the accommodations, and the atmosphere of the Reindahlen camp of 2009.
The week before the camp was quite nerve racking when making sure that everything is packed, transport is sorted out and paperwork is all there. The thing that worried me the most was making my own way to Heathrow Airport from Birmingham but I had a lot of offers when I asked what I should do. My CO offered a route by trains, my uncle offered to drop me off in his car and my mum offered to me a coach journey that would take me straight to the terminal I was heading to. I chose the coach because it was simple and cheaper than the other choices.
When I woke on Wednesday the 22 nd I was very excited about the week that lay before me. The coach picked me up at Birmingham International Airport and drove me to Terminal 5 of Heathrow Airport within 2 and half hours. I was quite comfortable on the coach and fell asleep for most of the journey.
Terminal 5 was like an airport on its own, with a plane taking off and landing every few minutes. Inside I had to find the help desk to find the meeting place but I found it was simple to get to in the end and met the people who was going to Reindahlen and met a few people from my own wing very quickly. Going through security was easy and nothing memorable happened there. It was about an hour's wait until we could board the plane so we wondered around the terminal. The flight only took an hour and a half and was reasonably smooth.
The first night we had a brief about the camp, the rules and what was expected from us, then we was split into 3 flights, A flight, B flight and C flight. I was in a flight along with my roommates. We were given a few hours of free time to get to know each other and wonder around the camp. When I went to charge my phone I encountered a problem. I realized that the plugs where different to the UK plugs and when I went to the local NAAFI they were sold out of the type of plug I needed. Luckily I manage to borrow a spare one off another Corporal.
I was sharing a room with 2 other corporals who became 2 of my friends within a few hours of the camp. When lights out came at 10:30 we were suppose to go to bed but my roommates and I stayed up and chatted for a while, getting to know each other.
We were up at 6:30 on Thursday 23 rd to get ready for breakfast and have our rooms clean for inspection. The first two days we weren't there for the inspection but when we were I was told that my bed was the best in my room, even though I had made all of them in my room.
The food at breakfast was nice everyday because it was the same. After breakfast, A flight went to the DCCT range to fire the SA-80 while B and C flight were doing a familiarisation exercise around the base. On the DCCT range I discovered that I need to work on my trigger squeeze pressure to improve my shooting practices.
After the range we went to do the fam-ex around the base. A flight apparently did very well on this compared to the other two flights which was a good sign. In the Evening we went to Holland to do go-karting which was epic. Everyone had lots of fun and most paid to go on again.
On the Friday we went to Cologne , a city in Germany . We visited the cathedral there that was immense because of its size and then we were allowed to go and do some site seeing on our own. Whilst exploring the city, we decided to buy a Union Jack from a gift shop for a laugh. On the night we went bowling and A flight got the two highest scorers.
The next day we went to Holland again to go to Break Out. Break Out was a place that was full of outdoor activities. There were high rope courses over a lake, low rope courses over ponds, climbing walls, the leap of faith and underground tunnels. In the underground tunnels we had to find certain symbols and the group that found the most, won. On the leap of faith you had to climb a tall wooden pole with blocks of wood nails to it for footings, and then climb onto a wobbly platform at the top that was about a square foot in area. At this point the pole is wobbling a lot, and I pulled out the Union Jack when standing at the top from my pocket. After this you had to jump onto a trapezium that was about a foot out of arms length reach.
On Sunday we went to a War cemetery in Holland where all the German soldiers that died in Holland during WW2. In the cemetery there were 31,585 graves. After the cemetery we went to a war museum that contained very interesting artifacts left over from the war. There was a Holocaust section which contained a piece of tattooed flesh of a Jew. Gruesome I know. Along with these disturbing pieces of history were huge machines and devastating weapons. When we finished there we went to a British war cemetery, which was a lot smaller than the German cemetery. I recognized a few names here such as Williams, Cook, and a few others. For dinner that night we were given pizzas that were quite nice and uplifting compared to that day.
We went shooting the next day and we had beautiful weather for it. I did pretty well considering my rifle jammed 3 times in a row, until I was given a new magazine that stopped the jamming. Then the lenses in my glasses fell out which put my confidence off. When I had finished I fixed my glasses and went and sat with everyone else who was waiting. I put my glasses down and when I went to find them again they had disappeared. For the rest of the camp I had to go with slightly blurred vision which was very annoying considering the next day we went to a USAF base.
We had to get up at 5:30 to go to this base and when we got there it was worth the early rising. This base serviced F-16s and A-10s we went into the Air Traffic Control Tower and we had a great view of the jets taking off and landing. Unfortunately I wasn't allowed to take pictures of the planes. We had lunch and went to the training simulator for the A-10 and were given some time to fly around in the simulator, and I was the first to shoot down another aircraft.
On the last night we had a barbeque and a disco which were very fun and it lasted until around 12 o'clock . However no one went to bed straight away and everyone had a lot of fun.
On the last day everyone was packing their bags and enjoying the last laughs with each other. The flight back was everyone saying goodbyes and getting contact details. At the airport everyone said their goodbyes and went on their way back to their homes. When I arrived home my family was waiting to hear what I did and did I enjoy it