Story by: C/1LT Kain Duggan
Photos by: 1SG (R) David Butler
It was another fun filled six-day summer camp at JCLC for David W. Butler High School JROTC Cadets participating in adventure activities on Fort Jackson, SC military base. The annual JROTC Cadet Leadership Challenge is a reputable camp offered to those who have proven themselves apart from their peers in terms of leadership, maturity, and skills. The activities Cadets participated in were high and low ropes confidence courses, team development, canoe races, marksmanship, drill and ceremony, rappelling, rope bridge, archery, rappelling, and drone training. Butler Bulldog Cadets were placed in the mighty Bravo company and lived amongst other schools in real military barracks.
One of the most exciting activities Cadets experienced was the Victory Tower. The Victory Tower is a 40-foot vertical wall meant to be descended via belay rappel. Cadets had to rely on the confidence and trust within themselves and the cadre members. Many cadets were terrified of this event but overcame their fears and showed great courage. Amongst us, Cadet Sergeant First Class Phillips of Butler High School says, “It fills you with fear, but makes you incredibly satisfied to get over it.” We are so proud we were able to overcome our fear of heights and believe in ourselves enough to finish strong.
Cadet Lieutenant Colonel Will McKean, the Battalion Commander of the Bulldog Battalion was awarded the Distinguished Cadet Award and won first place in the Iron Man competition. For the final graduation ceremony, he was nominated Company Commander and Butler’s First Lieutenant Kain Duggan as nominated Guidon Bearer led the company. And to top it off, Bravo Company was awarded the Camp Sergeant Major Award.
Participants from Butler High School JROTC program: Will McKean-Kain Duggan-Rebeca Moreno- Matthew Phillips-Carlos Gutierrez-Maya Argueta-Heaven Hurtado-Robert Aycock-Maria Trush-Zachary Baltimore
Cadet reflections about their experience- Hurtado: I think that overall JCLC was a great experience, and everything was well organized. I liked meeting new people and seeing others handle leadership positions. Argueta: I was able to meet so many people from different places and create a connection I’ll never forget. I participated in everything and enjoyed the new challenges. I was also able to see my fellow Butler Cadets in leadership positions that helped me push myself in ways I haven’t before.
Overall, JCLC Camp Carolina 2023 was a massive success and was a great experience for hundreds of cadets.