Your Questions Answered
Click on one of the images below to find the answers to some frequently asked questions.
No, but you do need an understanding of the needs of teenagers. So if you are a parent with children or have had any contact with the children of friends or family, you will have some idea of what’s required. Obviously, if you have any direct experience, such as teaching or sports training, you will have an advantage.
There is no upper age limit as a civilian instructor, although uniformed officers retire at 55. Many of our volunteers are retired or semi-retired, which gives them more time to spend with us.
We like our volunteers to be reasonably fit so they can join in the physical activities, but other qualities are equally important. We need people who can deal with paperwork and homesick cadets at camp just as much as someone who can hike across the hills with them.
Most of our volunteers have busy lives too, and many of them work full time. Most activities take place in the evenings and at weekends, and no-one’s expected to take part in everything. Many people get involved initially because their children are cadets – they start off helping out informally at events and open days. As long as you can spare a few hours a week, you’ll be made very welcome.
We welcome all responsible adults (aged 20 years upwards), of any gender, from all social backgrounds, cultures and religions. You don’t need to have any prior military experience, just enthusiasm and commitment.
Don’t worry, just drop an email to our team and we’ll give you an answer, and get it added to the site.
Absolutely! You are very welcome providing you can take part in a reasonable number of activities and as long as your disability does not cause you safety problems. Your local squadron staff will be happy to speak to you about this.
You can go at least once a year but as some cadets focus on other activities sometimes you can fly much more frequently, it’s fantastic!
Yes! Everyone is very friendly and you always feel welcome. As we’re all cadets we have loads in common.
No, the uniform is free but you have to look after it. You may have to buy your own shoes though!
There’s a small subscription to cover the running costs which is usually a few pounds per week, making it great value for money considering what you get out of it. Some camps and activities also cost money, but this is never something you should be worried about.
There are a huge amount of expedition opportunities, some overseas, but the most well known and popular option is the Duke of Edinburgh Award which entails overnight expeditions. They’re great fun. But there are lots of other expeditions that pop up regularly.
Yes, there are lots of opportunities to do fun activities as well as the more serious side of things, but the focus is always on enjoying yourself while improving your skills.
Each session lasts around two and half hours, usually from 7pm to 9.30pm in the evening. This gives you plenty of time to complete homework and to deal with other commitments. Some cadets even take part in other activities or have hobbies outside of the squadron!
We meet twice a week (which days depends on the squadron)
You can join when you’re between 13, or 12 if you’re already in year 8 at school, and usually leave when you’re 20. The latest age you can join is 17.
We get to do a huge variety of activities such as flying, gliding, target shooting, adventure training, sports, camps, drill, academic studies and lots of other things. There’s never a dull moment.