Annington Challenge group shot taken at Aberdovey 2023

Thursday 11th January 2024

Calling all RAF Youngsters!  Get Summer sorted and apply today for a place on The Annington Challenge 2024 – applications close on 9th February.

Annington’s project for military youngsters run by the Outward Bound Trust®.  Look forward to a week or more of outdoor adventure learning new skills, meeting new people – all while enjoying some of the most stunning locations in the UK. 

Follow in the footsteps of 100 military youngsters, including 28 from the RAF, who spent last summer holiday enjoying lots of outdoor activities including sailing, abseiling and rock climbing as well as wild camping, canoeing and gorge walking.

About the Annington Challenge    

The Annington Challenge provides UK-based military youngsters aged 10-19 with an opportunity to experience an Outward Bound® course and is aimed at those who would benefit from an experience proven to improve self-confidence, team working skills and resilience – all whilst having loads of fun! 

Annington fund up to 90% of the cost and this year’s group chose between four courses at the Outward Bound’s centres in Aberdovey in Wales, Ullswater in Cumbria and Loch Eil in Scotland. 

All aspects of the courses were overseen by the Outward Bound’s team of qualified outdoor instructors – many of whom who have worked with previous Annington Challenge participants.  They encouraged our youngsters as they tackled activities designed to take them outside their comfort zones – and beyond.   

Imogen’s experience

One youngster was Imogen Green 12, from Wallingford, Oxfordshire whose father is based at RAF Benson with 22 Squadron.   

The Annington Challenge was recommended to Imogen by her cousins – also RAF youngsters – who had tackled the course a couple of years ago.   

For Imogen the course was less about tackling the dozens of activities on tap at the Outward Bound’s beautiful centre in Aberdovey, and more about building her confidence when meeting and dealing with new people. 

“I’m not the quickest to make friends and I really wasn’t certain about applying at first.  I thought it might be quite nice to stay at home during the school holidays!  But my cousins loved it and thought I would too.”   

“When we arrived at Aberdovey, it was a bit awkward wondering who was going to talk first. and whether people would like me.  But the instructors stepped in with some ice breakers and a few games and from then on it was fine.” 

Imogen tackled the seven-day Ridge course which includes at least one night camping out in the Welsh countryside. 

“The activities on the Annington Challenge are fantastic but for me it was about meeting other people.  I really loved that.  I met up with three other girls on my course and we swapped dormitories so we could be together.”   

“The worst thing was missing my family but to be honest, it was hard to be homesick for too long because I just got caught up in what the next activity was!” 

“I’ve definitely gained more confidence in meeting new people, and I know that’s going to help me in the future.” 

What would Imogen’s advice be to anyone thinking about applying for a place in 2024? 

“Give it a go – you never know who you are going to meet, and you’ll get so much from it.  I can’t wait to go back to school and tell my friends about my holiday in Wales and the really cool thing I did!” 

How to register

To register for the 2024 Annington Challenge, visit: www.outwardbound.org.uk/the-annington-challenge 

Featured in Envoy Winter 2023

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