By meiJune 27, 2013
FORT A.P. HILL, Va. - More than 500 Junior ROTC cadets from high schools in Delaware, Maryland, North Carolina, Virginia and Washington D.C. just completed Camp Success, a six-day camp here, that broadened their horizons and instilled them with confidence.
Camp Success challenged the cadets by running them through the same confidence course that Soldiers use. The confidence course consists of a series of obstacles that require strength, dexterity and a bit of courage to overcome.
The highlight of the training was the rappelling tower where the cadets had to face their fears and overcome them. Many were apprehensive at first about climbing the tower and going down its face with only a rope to hold them.
JROTC senior army instructor retired Lt. Col. Devin Ruh, of Hayfield Secondary School in Alexandria, Va. led the rappelling with a cadre of instructors and support personnel.
The instructors offered words of motivation and encouragement to the cadets as they climbed the tower stairs. Once atop the tower instructors offered instructions and more encouragement.
One cadet who never rappelled was Eric Young of Patopsco Senior High School Baltimore County, Md. made three successful rappels before the end of the exercise.
Young entered the JROTC program to set an example for his siblings. He hopes to enter the Army Reserve and after he graduates from high school next year. After that he would like to start his own demolition company.
As the cadets waited for their turn on the tower, Cadet Logan Thomas, of Hayfield Secondary School in Alexandria, Va., helped motivate his follow cadets when it was time for rappelling. Thomas aspires to be a Marine Aviator someday.
Another cadet who drew confidence from Camp Success was Cadet Devon Bodziony Appleton High School Alexandria, Va. Bodziony proudly announced she is the daughter of a U.S. Marine. She plans to stay in JROTC and continue to expand her horizons with a college ROTC program. Bodziony wants to be a Coast Guard or Army officer when she graduates from college.
As Camp Success ended retired Maj. Lee Bowman, Jr. an instructor from Anacostia High School, Washington D.C., said it proved to be a fantastic experience for the cadets who participated.
"This year we are trying a new approach; the students run the camp with the close guidance and supervision of retired military JROTC command structure," Bowman said. "This gives cadets the ability to make excusive decisions at a battalion level just as they would in a real Army battalion."
Bowman said that the camp also gives the cadets the opportunity to meet, live and work with cadets from other parts of the country. Just as important, it taught them proper leadership techniques.
"The JROTC Cadets take home exposure to a higher-level of military level knowledge in a structured environment," he said. "They get to see what a real battalion looks and functions like."