Cadets at camp: JROTC group visits ‘Shelby’

Published 4:08 am Saturday, June 15, 2019

The Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps Cadet Leadership Challenge (JCLC) was conducted the first week of June at the conclusion of the 2019 school year, and cadets from the Bogalusa High School JROTC program were among those who participated. The camp was held approximately 10 miles south of Hattiesburg, Miss., at Camp Shelby, Miss., from June 3-8.

Upon arrival to Camp Shelby, cadets were assigned to one of four companies (Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, or Delta) and supervised by no less than three JROTC instructors and two female chaperones. This year’s camp consisted of 84 JROTC instructors, 15 chaperones, six medical staff personnel, and 397 cadets from 51 schools — 41 Mississippi schools, three Louisiana schools (Bogalusa, Hammond, and Slidell), and seven schools from Alabama.

Each cadet was provided the opportunity to further enhance his or her overall leadership in areas such as communication, team building, decision-making, and planning. They also had the opportunity to serve in various leadership positions, ranging from company commander to squad leader in their assigned companies and evaluated by their instructors.

The cadet training consisted of an early morning fitness test at 6 a.m., drill and ceremony, a canoe race, transporting an injured individual (mannequin/tire) on a stretcher/litter carrier, rappelling from a 40-foot tower, and negotiating an obstacle course, orienteering (land navigation). At the conclusion of each training day, cadets participated in various evening competitive activities such as Potpourri, Mini Olympics, fitness events, and drill competitions from approximately 7 p.m. until 9 p.m. — or, in military terms, 1900 until 2100. Cadets were given the opportunity to visit the museum, and Camp Shelby’s Post Exchange, often referred to as the PX.

On Wednesday, selected instructors and cadets were interviewed by the local television station (WDAM) for their views on the JROTC program and its value to their community.

On Friday evening, all awards and special recognitions were completed, including Best Cadet Company Commander, Best Overall Cadet, Most Spirited Cadets/Company, Best Overall Physical Fitness Event score, and much more. Special recognition was given to all chaperones for their service, ranging from one year to 21 years. The longest serving chaperone for this year’s camp was René Amond (21 years) from Hammond.

On Saturday, the cadets were awakened at 0530 (5:30 a.m.) to prepare for departure. The day began with personal hygiene, breakfast, clean-up and accountability, prior to the departure from Camp Shelby.