A HIGH-FLYING teenager will be on cloud nine when he enjoys an African adventure.
Air cadet Craig Field, right, will be jetting out to the tiny Kingdom of Lesotho, an independent landlocked country within South Africa, next July.
The trip has been organised as part of celebrations to mark the 150th anniversary of the cadet forces and Craig is one of just 60 from across the UK who have been selected to go.
He will stay in Lesotho for three weeks, working with members of rural communities and exploring more of the beautiful, isolated country.
And he may even experience a brush with royalty as HRH Prince Harry is the expedition patron and has organised for the groups to work with his charity, Sentebale, during the expedition.
Craig is the only cadet from the 396 (Paisley) Squadron to have been selected for the Africa trip.
“It feels really good to have been chosen,” he said. “There were quite a few of us who applied for the trip and I’m one of the lucky ones who will get the chance to go.
“I’ve never done anything like this before and I never thought I’d be able to go to Africa.
“I’m looking forward to it and I’m sure it will be an amazing experience.”
Craig, 16, will join the other Africa-bound cadets for a special training weekend in April but has already started his own preparations for the trip.
He said: “I’m working on my fitness and trying to get myself suited to what it will be like over there. I will need to be quite fit for all the stuff we’ll be doing over there.
“We’ll be helping to rebuild one of the rural schools and make it better for the children.
“We’ll also be doing some work with the Zulu people, which will be really exciting.”
Craig, who is a pupil at Park Mains High School in Erskine, has been a member of the 396 (Paisley) Squadron for the last year and applied to go on the Africa trip soon after he joined the cadets.
He explained: “My commanding officer told us there was going to be an expedition to celebrate the 150th anniversary. I was quite interested in that, so I applied and then I got a letter at the end of last year to say I was going to be interviewed.
“My commanding officer interviewed me and asked me about why I wanted to go on the trip to Africa.
“A couple of weeks later, I got a phone call from wing HQ that I’d been picked to go to the selection weekend in Somerset, which took place in April.
“A few months later, an e-mail was issued which listed the names of all the cadets who had been selected.
“I was scrolling down it and then saw my name was on it. I was really excited.”
Craig has just started his Fifth Year at high school and lives in Bishopton with his parents Elaine and William and younger siblings Ross and Kirsty.
He hopes to be a mechanical engineer when he leaves school and joined the cadets as a way to improve his prospects.
The group will leave for Africa on Monday, July 26 next year and will be away for three weeks.
Ed Crawley, the Paisley squadron’s Wing Staff Officer Squadron Leader, said: “We are very pleased with Craig’s selection.”
The 396 (Paisley) Air Cadet Squadron meets on Monday and Wednesday evenings at the Cadet Centre, in Hawkhead Road, Paisley.
To find out more about the group, telephone 0141 842 1479 or send an e-mail to email@example.com
You can also check out the website at www.raf.mod.uk/aircadets