Her Royal Highness, The Duchess of Cambridge, joined RAF Air Cadets as they took part in a number of outdoor activities.
The Duchess, who is Honorary Air Commandant of the RAF Air Cadets, mastered the cycling tracks in the hills near Windermere; laughing with the cadets aged 12 to 19 before chatting with them and their instructors about the benefits of enjoying activities in the great outdoors.
She also joined cadets as they abseiled down the face of a 10-metre cliff in a quarry.
Her Royal Highness' visit marked the re-opening of the RAF Air Cadets Windermere Adventure Training Centre, following a £2 million refit, as well as celebrating the organisation’s 80th anniversary.
The Centre will enable hundreds of cadets to learn from a variety of activities, building their confidence and leadership skills, and helping them achieve their prestigious Duke of Edinburgh Awards.
"I found out this morning we would be meeting her and it was a total shock. I was just like 'wow'."
Cadet Abby Armstrong
Ripley St Thomas School CCF Lancaster
The Windermere Adventure Training Centre is one of two Centres in the UK for the RAF Air Cadets, comprising of both the Air Training Corps and the Combined Cadet Force (RAF). With 60,000 cadets and adult volunteers the organisation has 1,200 squadrons and sections.
"Her Royal Highness took to the mountain biking extremely well. It was wonderful for the cadets and their adult volunteers to have Her Royal Highness join them to mark the RAF Air Cadet’s 80th anniversary and the re-opening of the Centre."
Mr Andy Reeve
RAF Air Cadet Windermere Adventure Training Centre
Also meeting Her Royal Highness was former Cadet and ex-RAF Officer Emma Wolstenholme, who is preparing to complete a 3,000-mile solo row across the Atlantic next January to raise money for the RAF Air Cadets in their 80th anniversary year.
"It’s been fantastic to meet the Duchess and see the enthusiasm and support that she provides to the Air Cadets. We talked about the boat, my preparation for the event and my aim to set a new world record and inspire the next generation along the way."
Former Cadet and ex-RAF Officer
"We are honoured to have The Duchess of Cambridge with us today, as our Honorary Air Commandant she is a great supporter of the work of the Royal Air Force Air Cadets and the plethora of opportunities that we offer young people at the 1,200 Air Training Corps and Combined Cadet Force (RAF) units across the UK and overseas. We believe in offering Air Cadets the chance to grow in confidence and unlock their potential, getting outside and doing some adventurous training has really positive benefits for mental health and well-being and can help build teamwork and leadership skills. Today’s activities are a small part of what we offer but a fantastic example of how we help young people develop and achieve."
Air Commodore Tony Keeling
Commandant RAF Air Cadets
Joining the RAF Air Cadets as a cadet or volunteer is easy, just log on to the RAF Air Cadets homepage.