I joined the Combined Cadet Force in Year 8 and was absolutely terrified at the beginning! But it has really built up my confidence, and I have had great fun with CCF. All nerves were quickly overcome by laughing at each other wearing camouflage paint for the first time or watching each other fall into the water whilst raft building.
We learned new skills every week, including the basics of shooting, marching, patrolling and section attacks. At the end of the first year we could chose to stay with the army or branch off into the RAF, which I chose to do. I used to have a phobia of flying, yet quickly overcame this by flying a plane myself (with an actual pilot present!). CCF also enabled me to develop friendships with both girls in other year groups, and also with students at other schools.