While many high school students were still enjoying their summer vacation, students from the Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps (JROTC) at Halifax County High School participated in one of the major training camps. nation’s leadership training, the JROTC Cadet Leadership Challenge.
The six-day camp on campus at Massanutten Military Academy in Woodstock provided students with hands-on leadership training. Cadets participated in a series of team-building activities, such as science, technology, engineering and math activities, orienteering, abseiling, obstacle course, drowning protection, first aid and CPR.
Students were exposed to new and different experiences outside of the classroom. Each day presented a different challenge for the students as they moved into different leadership roles. These roles allowed students to plan and organize the day’s activities and build a team, while being assessed on their demonstrated leadership potential.
The activity week ended with a field day, where each student/group competed for camp honors. The activities were designed to test both the physical and mental approach as well as the collaborative efforts of the students.
The boot camp is sponsored by the U.S. Army’s JROTC and led by personnel from 22 high schools in southern and central Virginia and North Carolina. First Sergeant. Thomas Walker, JROTC program instructor at HCHS, attended this year’s camp with his students and was completely satisfied with the performance of the cadets and how they stood out amongst their peers. He hopes more cadets will be allowed to attend next year’s camp.
HCHC cadets were asked what they enjoyed most about leadership camp, with most citing abseiling as their favorite activity.
Gabriel Kunselman said he enjoys rappelling and learning how to convert his uniform into a life jacket. Taylor Comer also said he loves abseiling, and the experience is something most people his age don’t get to do. Comer added that he made many new friends.
Malia Mitchell said she also enjoys rappelling and hanging out with her band members. Jade Roderick said she enjoyed the friends she made along the way and the abseiling as it helped her and others overcome their fear of heights. Rappelling was also Ruby Long’s favorite camp experience. She said she appreciated the cadets in her group and although they were all from different schools, they worked together for a common goal.
Sophia Long shared that she enjoyed the Raiders obstacle course because it tested her physical abilities and the food at camp. Isaiah McCargo said he enjoyed the overall camp experience and particularly appreciated the teamwork, friendship and support from his peers.
JROTC is a voluntary program offered to HCHS students in grades 9-12. Those interested in learning more about the program can contact Walker at the high school.