The Camp Must Go On!
ANCHROAGE, AK -- On March 19th, 2020, Alaska schools closed their doors due to growing COVID-19 cases. JROTC Cadets missed out on opportunities to serve their community, school, and country. The JROTC Cadet Leadership Challenge (JCLC) was also canceled as well the 2021 JCLC. But the JROTC Cadre at East Anchorage High School felt that with Pandemic conditions getting better and guidelines allowing more activities something could be done to bring the Cadets together. Enter the East Anchorage High JROTC Mini Camp 2021!
The idea of executing an activity that replicated JCLC on a smaller scale was very appealing to the Cadets and the high school administrative staff because of the lower Pandemic numbers and outdoor-based activities that were planned, was more than willing to allow the program to conduct this activity. The camp was also run as a “daytime only” event so Cadets and cadre went home each evening. The camp lasted 3 days and was filled with cadre led activities taken right out of the JCLC model to include morning physical training led by Alaska Army National Guard Recruiter and battalion volunteer SSG Michelle Guererro and a modified rappelling activity led by First Sergeant Emilio Lobato who is the battalion’s certified rappelling instructor. SSG Guererro and First Sergeant Lobato also doubled as the drill competition judges on the final day.
Drill and team-building activities featuring team skits culminated in small competitions for both of those activities between the Cadet platoons formed with Cadet Leaders appointed to lead their group through the competitions. The highlight of the three-day camp was a trip to the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center just outside the city of Girdwood and a 4-mile nature hike on the spectacular Alyeska Resort hiking trails.
Cadet Kaleah Graham, Cadet Battalion Commander Selectee for the school year 2021-22 said of the camp “There is no doubt that the Mini Camp did wonders for our battalion and I not only have high hopes for this next year as the Battalion Commander, but I fully believe that my Cadets are capable of just about anything.” Well, put Commander! Well, put!