Puma Battalion Orienteers Establish their Position as Tough Competitors and Future Front-Runners

Written by: MAJ (Ret.) Ervin Purvis

CHARLOTTE, NC — On Saturday, 11 February 2023, the Palisades High School JROTC Orienteering Team completed another milestone in their inaugural year.  After building a competitive team that originated with no previous experience, the Puma Orienteers finished 8th out of 42 teams in the annual Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools Annual Orienteering Meet at McDowell Nature Preserve.  The orienteers blazed trails across the North Carolina woodlands and correctly located eleven successive control points along a demanding 5.7km course.  It was impressive noticing the evolution of their navigation skills and seeing the manifestation of their hard work play-out in a competition with minimal instructor coaching.  The team’s confidence – derived from their hours of committed training – suppressed any hesitation and served as the catalyst in their terrain analysis, bearing calculations, and route selections. The Orienteering Team’s Commander, C/Corporal David Soto, encouraged the team to view this experience as a victory and a great platform from which to build.  The team reflected on their experience and have declared their goal is to place among the top four within the district at the same event next year. 

Photo caption: The Palisades High School Army JROTC Orienteering Team make final preparations before their quest to locate all assigned control points in the fastest time. – 11 February 2023 (Photo credit: Photo by MAJ (Ret.) Ervin Purvis). Pictured (left to right) – C/Corporal Carter Staab, C/PVT John Royals, C/PFC Jacob Rodriguez, C/Corporal David Soto.