For the first week of work placement myself and a few other students went to Finner camp. At the start of the year we found out that Finner camp was only taking a few students along with other students from different schools.
We started our first day on Monday the 6th February. Time is strict within military grounds so our arrival time was 8:50 am. There were thirteen students from our school.Three from Finn valley, Three from The Sligo grammar school and one from Riverstown. We stared off at 9:00 am with an Introduction to the military, organisation of The DF DF Roles and rank structure. There we learnt that Finner camp was the 28th battalion. We then had break followed by a parade were we lined up outside and marched to our next activity. We then did an introduction to a Foot drill. This was probably the hardest but most enjoyable part of our work placement as during our parades and Foot drills everything was spoken Irish. We then went for lunch at the canteen at 12:30. Lastly at the end of the day we had P.T [Physical Training] For his we did circuits. This involved running, pushing, jumping, pulling, lifting, climbing, dragging and crawling. We also had to squeeze through small spaces. The hardest of all for most people had to be the climbing, as not only had we to climb ropes but we had to wrap our leg a certain way around the rope so that we could stop climbing and rest our weight on the rope with out falling off. Later on we were collected at the main gate.
At the start of day two we went to the the conference room to get an introduction to signals training. This involved being shown equipment that the military take with them overseas so that they can connect back home. Also we had a talk on phone tracking and how it is good or bad. Then at 11:00 we had break. Followed by another Foot Drill and then lunch. After lunch we made a parade outside and marched to our next talk which was an Introduction to Diet and nutrition in the DF. We then Gathered outside and marched back to the main gate to be collected at 4:00 pm.
For our third day we had an introduction to first aid. For the army, instead of having the right medicines and equipment they have to make do with what the are carrying or what they can find. We then had break followed by a parade and more Foot drills. After lunch we had a talk on survival training. Here we learnt the basics like how to make shelter and how to light a fire. He also had a talk on the elite soldiers and the tasks the face. After the talk we marched back to the main gate.
On Thursday we first had an introduction to navigation. This was simple to pick up as we covered the basics of navigation in class. Shortly after we had a small arms display. We were shown the main weapons and equipment that the soldiers carry on them when abroad. Later on in the afternoon we were shown different huts that the defense forces can build to protect themselves from the elements.We were then shown how to skin and gut a rabbit. There was a build in furnace under the sand so we could cook the rabalsothere was a fire lit beside the hut to pan fry the rabbit.
On Friday, our final day, we first met at the main gate followed by a support arms display. In this display we were shown bigger weapons that were outside. After break we had an introduction talk on the military police. In the army not only can the soldiers be arrested by the Garda Síochána but also the military police. Later on in the afternoon we had an Orienteering exercise. For this we were split into groups and had to find flags that were pin pointed on a map that stretched the whole length of the camp. After the exercise our guides brought the group up to the P.T hall for a game of football. We then lined up and marched back to the main gates. I really enjoyed my time in Finner Camp and taught it was great experience and a possible career.