On May 23rd, 12 cadets from the mighty Rocket Battalion of Rockcastle County High School traveled to the Junior Cadet Leadership Camp at the Bluegrass Army Depot for training in leadership, discipline, teamwork, and the experience of what enlistment in the US Army would entail.
Some of these Junior Cadets were given the opportunity to lead a unit as a way to develop their leadership skills in practical, tangible situations. From marching their units to “chow” to ensuring their safety and organization, those selected to be leaders in different positions faced a multitude of challenges that those enlisted in the US Army could expect to face. They were thrown into situations where they had little to rely on but their own wits and those of their units to carry out specific tasks given by their superiors and instructors.
There were obstacle courses of sorts that the cadets were required to traverse with limited materials to slightly alter the course. Another type of course was 40 feet above the ground, in which cadets conquered challenges on thin wires and boards, held safely by a harness and guiding wires. The challenges were extremely difficult and required an exorbitant amount of teamwork and leadership skills in addition to their own mental abilities. After these tasks were completed (either successfully or not) those who underwent the challenge were led in a reflection by their instructors and determined what worked effectively and what did not, and the groups were able to develop both as teams and as individuals.
Developing themselves individually was also a large part of the camp. Participants learned to operate boats and watercrafts, they learned to rappel, and they worked to improve themselves physically and mentally, either by exercises or by going on “information scavenger hunts” where they had to talk to re-enactors at Fort Boonesborough to learn various things about the Fort and the area around it to complete an assortment of questions on a worksheet.
At the camp, two of RCHS’s Cadets were awarded for their performance. Cadet Marina Blevins was awarded a medallion for being a part of the squad that won the physical “Raider Challenge” and Cadet Timothy Henson won an award for being voted best leader of his 14-man squad and a trophy for second runner-up in a Battalion Leadership Board. Congratulations to those cadets.