HARTSVILLE, S.C. – A dozen Hartsville High School (HHS) JROTC cadets spent a week in early June at the Junior Cadet Leadership Challenge (JCLC) at Fort Jackson, building confidence, enhancing leadership skills and developing their senses of responsibility and independence.
The 12 HHS students joined 800 other cadets from around the state at the summer camp. Typical daily routines included a 5:30 a.m. wake-up call, morning exercise and breakfast before training began at 8 a.m.
Cadets took part in training exercises focused on water survival skills, rope training, rappelling, courses to test courage and self-confidence and a reaction course that tested problem-solving skills.
In addition to leadership lessons, the students learned that they are more physically capable than most of them thought beforehand. Training was conducted outdoors in the June heat. With temperatures in the 90s, students learned about proper hydration and diet. The students ate three balanced meals per day, each low in sodium, fat and sugars.
For Hartsville students, the experience was free with the exception of a snack. Department of Defense JROTC paid the costs associated with lodging, transportation, training and meals. Normally, students pay a small fee for t-shirts and administration. However, the Hartsville JROTC was able to pay that fee for the students.
JCLC students were also encouraged not to take cell phones to camp, and those that did surrendered the devices upon arrival. The students were not completely cut off from family contact, though, as their instructors sent family updates. The last day of the camp was also Family Day. After a graduation ceremony, cadets had their phones returned for the bus ride home.