COLUMBIA, MD -- June 24th marked the end of a successful 4-day, joint JCLC and New Cadet day camp run at Atholton High School in Columbia, Maryland. Meeting on the 18th of June, the cadet cadre of the Atholton Army JROTC Raider Battalion had one day to prepare the grounds and themselves for the incoming JCLC and New Cadets. The cadet cadre made a plan for basic admin (in-processing, uniform and equipment issue, and organizing cadets into squads) as well as the events and operations for the 4-day camp. Executing a combined JCLC and New Cadet camp on school grounds did not come without its own set of challenges, yet, the Raider Battalion cadet cadre got it done.
In order to best replicate the cadet lifestyle as well as provide an entertaining camp experience, the camp included a cadet challenge, a Raider physical fitness course, and drill and ceremony instruction. The cadet challenge allowed new cadets to experience the bi-annual test in a low-pressure environment while the Raider course enabled team-based challenges and inter-squad competitions. Recognizing that drill and ceremony is an integral part of cadet life, the cadet cadre worked with company leadership to instruct cadets on D&C basics throughout the camp. Our focus on D&C also had the benefit of allowing our mid-level leaders to practice one-on-one and small unit leadership techniques. As the camp drew to a close, the cadet cadre utilized the cadet participation across the camp to select cadets for Top Platoon, Top Squad Leader, Top JCLC Cadet, and Top New Cadet awards.
The joint JCLC and New Cadet camp provided a valuable growth opportunity for all the cadets of the Raider Battalion. Our staff was able to successfully plan and execute a major, complex operation; our returning cadets formed teams and led others in hands-on activities; and our incoming cadets got a head start on basic JROTC skills, knowledge, and practices. Our camp has definitely increased the knowledge, motivation, and esprit-de corps for all involved and, looking forward to the 2021-2022 school year, has built a solid foundation for our year ahead.