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welcome to somerset! CVQO Westminster Award selection event day 1 and 2 round-up

Days one and two of the CVQO Westminster Award selection event are done and dusted. A combination of weather and rail replacement buses threatened to derail our carefully crafted schedule, but we’re happy to report that all the cadets arrived more or less on time and had a fantastic couple of days in Somerset - in occasional sunny weather no less!

Upon arrival our finalists gathered around the bush camp for a couple of briefings from Outposts and CVQO staff before settling into their tents and meeting their teammates. After that it was time for a few quick photos and then the week’s first proper activity: the gun run challenge.

This was the first time our finalists were split into their four groups and had the chance to work together properly. The task? Assembling and disassembling a mock field gun, transporting it from one end of a field to another and back again. Amazingly no-one managed to lose a wheel (tradition) but there’s plenty of time for that when we re-run it on Thursday...

Afterwards, another team-based activity: crossing the “River Wild” armed only with a stack of milk crates. Simple but effective, and a sure fire way to get to know a group of strangers much better.

To finish the day, the cadets enjoyed their first meal at the bush camp before hearing about the potential South Africa trip they’re all working hard to be a part of.

Day two saw the cadets split into their groups and begin the first activity rotations. During the Wednesday and Thursday, each group will complete four rotations lasting roughly 3 hours each: an ILM Level 3 qualification, a series of command tasks situated in and around Lydeard Farm, a mock barn build and a theory-based strategy exercise. They will also be interviewed by CVQO Chief Executive Guy Horridge and Outposts Managing Director Michael Kingscote.

Sadly the rain came down on Wednesday morning, but it did not manage to dampen the spirits of our finalists who powered through and remained enthusiastic throughout (although those lucky enough to be completing one of the indoor rotations possibly had reason to be a little smug!)

On Thursday we will complete two more rotations and finish the interview sessions before the selection event is brought to an official close on Friday.

It's been a great start to the week and we can't wait to see what Thursday brings (as long as it isn't rain)

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