Q. How old do I have to be to join?
A. You have to be 12 years old and already in Year 8 at school to join the squadron. The maximum age for joining is 17 years of age but all cadets may stay until their 20th birthday. Note that you have to be 13 years and 3 months old to be officially enrolled in the Air Training Corps.
Q. When does the squadron meet?
A. Our squadron meets twice a week: Tuesdays and Fridays from 19:00hrs - 21:30hrs.
Q. How much does it cost?
A. All cadets, regardless of rank or experience, pay a subscription of approximately £15 monthly. This pays for flying and gliding, shooting and other regular activities. There will be extra charges if you decide to go on camp - approximately £60.00 for the week which covers messing charges, visits, exercises and travel - and if you wish to go on any of the additional activities the ACO offers, such as the International Air Cadet Exchange.
Q. Will I have to wear a uniform?
A. Yes, all cadets are given the uniform of the Royal Air Force and we will show you how to look after it. However, you may be required to buy your own shoes.
Q. When will I get my uniform?
A. Provided you are a regular attendee to the squadron, you should receive your uniform within the first 6-8 weeks of joining.
Q. I'm scared of heights. Will I like flying?
A. Flying is a completely different sensation to being at a great height (e.g. standing on the edge of a cliff), and so most people find that even if they are scared of heights, they are not scared of flying!
Q. How often do you get to go flying?
A. Typically, you will get to go flying and gliding once a year, though there may be more opportunities such as on camp, visits to RAF flying squadrons and if other cadets pull out.
Q. I am disabled. Will I still be able to join?
A. Absolutely! If you're disabled you are very welcome provided your handicap doesn't prevent you from taking part in a reasonable number of activities, or is likely to cause you safety problems.
Q. It sounds interesting. How do I join?
A. Please get in touch to find out when our next recruitment intake is.
Q. Can anyone become a volunteer?
A. We welcome all responsible adults (aged 20 years upwards), male or female, from all social backgrounds, cultures and religions. You don't need to have any prior military experience, just enthusiasm and commitment.
Q.I have a full time job/home to run/children. How can I spare the time for voluntary work?
A. 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.
Q. It sounds really energetic. Do I need to be really fit?
A. 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.
Q. I'm retired but I enjoy working with youngsters. Is there an age limit?
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.
Q. Do I need any experience of working with children?
A. 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.
Q. What happens if I join and then find it doesn't suit me?
A. This kind of work doesn't suit everyone, but when you join us you will be given every opportunity to find a role that you feel happy with. We are particularly keen to ensure that you are suited to and happy with your role, as your enthusiasm can directly impact on the cadets.
Q. Will I need to have a police check?
A. Yes. Anyone who works with children must be willing to undergo a Criminal Records Bureau check. This is a legal requirement and can take about three months, so until it is complete you will not be able to take sole charge of cadets. You'll be training during this period anyway so your progress won't be affected.
Q. Will I be paid?
A. You will be provided with all the necessary equipment for your role, including special clothing and uniform where applicable. As an officer or non-commissioned officer you can, however, claim for up to 28 days' pay per year. Don't forget, you'll experience many activities and training opportunities, all for free!
Q. I'd like to meet new friends too. Is there a social side to it?
A. Yes! The civilian committee on each squadron will be busy organising all sorts of social events, some to raise funds for the cadets and some just for fun. Most people are surprised to find that as well as enjoying the work they make a lot of new friends and have a great social time when they join as an adult volunteer. Some have even found their future husbands and wives this way!
Q. What is the unit like?
A. Some squadrons are accommodated in their own premises, while others are located on RAF stations, in TA centres or in post-war Nissen huts. Our squadron is located in a shared cadet building on the grounds of Scarborough TA Centre.
Q. I think I might be interested. What do I do now?
A. Get in touch with the squadron and we will invite you to come down one night to get a taster of what its all about. If you still want to join, we'll order your paperwork and set you on course for becoming an adult instructor.