Article written by C/SSG Jacob Edwards
The Bulldogs entered the “Battle of Kings Mountain” in North Carolina for the 2022-23 school year to test their navigation skills. Cadets had to be able to read a map and capable of running 3 miles preferably without stopping within 30 minutes. All members on the team are Raiders. “What an amazing experience running on a mountain through thick vegetation and admiring the beautiful reserve park” said C/SSG Edwards. The park had a vast lake which rippled with water droplets from the rain and would drop off at the end due to a massive waterfall that we had to run by locked in the direction for our first marker. My partner and I represented team 1 of the Bulldogs, and we were among the first to set off into the forest early Saturday morning. We ran a quarter of a mile along a paved road and then our compass directed us into deep forest brush. We darted into the tree line and began our descent into the forest. We successfully located and marked the first two points in astonishingly great time clocking in around 7 minutes. We ran along damp leaves and fallen trees to navigate through thick brush by jumping over and crawling under dead trees, dodging thorny bushes and spider webs. Stray branches grazed our faces as we ran to find our points. Soon after finding the first two markers, it began to rain heavily. It was not long until we were both soaked. Believe it or not, we enjoyed the rain. We found it refreshing and revitalizing while we were hunting for our points.
Orienteering is a sport that combines both a physical and a mental element. The basic idea in orienteering is to proceed from a course start to finish by visiting a number of control points in a predetermined order with the help of a map and compass as fast as you can. It makes you think about where you’re going and the direction you take to get there. Our Instructors remind us of developing a plan to get to the next level in life.
This competition was well worth the effort and training we put in. We were awarded the 1st place trophy, regional banners, uniform medals and ribbons, challenge coins, and certificates of completion by the District Army Instructor. The duo team was recognized 3rd place amongst 40 other teams: Cadet Amaya and Jackson, both LET 3’s. “What an amazing time we had on the top of Kings Mountain”, we can’t wait to compete next year with plans of holding the title, Kings of the Mountains. Go Bulldogs!!!