Just returned from a Canadian adventure of a lifetime is Ballygowan Army Cadet Taylor Gribbon.
The Saintfield High School student won a place on an eighteen-day expedition to the Canadian Rockies and Alaska where he met every challenge that the Great Outdoors could provide, from assault rifle training and abseiling; canoeing, cycling and hiking to a 30-hour Solo ‘Wild Country Survival’ exercise.
Ironically the opportunity came because, at just 15 years old, the high-flying cadet was judged too young to tackle Cadet 3 Star training while at the 2013 Annual Camp.
Taylor said: “Even though I am young to be heading for that level I was keen to keep pushing my Cadet training along for I really enjoy it and get a tremendous sense of achievement and satisfaction with each goal reached.
“My disappointment didn’t last long. However, for my company Sergeant Major suggested I try out for this once in a lifetime course and I was absolutely thrilled to get one of the twelve places open to Cadets from right across the UK.
“I learnt a lot of new skills, made lots of new friends and discovered a lot about myself which, in turn, has helped me in the cadets since my return. The course makes you push yourself to new limits and helps you to realise your own potential as an individual and as part of a team.
“My personal highlight of the trip was the time in Alaska. We were taken on a flight over the mountains there and the views were absolutely breathtaking. I feel that the whole experience has been a great help to me, not just now but in the future when it gives me something exciting to add to my CV!”
Anyone inspired by Taylor to join the Army Cadets’ Ballygowan Detachment which meets Wednesday nights, from 7-10pm in Carryduff, check out: