JROTC Jumps Out of 34 Foot Tower

By Taylor Barnhill  - bio | email | Twitter

FT. BENNING, GA (WTVM) - When people think of summer camp, they think swimming, arts and crafts and sleeping outdoors, but for some area high school students, their summer camp consists of push-ups, barbed wire crawls and jumping out of buildings.

How would you feel about jumping out of a 34 feet high tower? A couple hundred high school students experienced it first hand during JROTC summer camp.

JROTC Cadet Leadership Camp PAO, Major Alex Branch told News Leader Nine, "For them to actually climb the tower, they had to overcome fears. And to jump out that door, that's another set of fears to overcome."

JROTC member from Carver High School, Darius Foster said, "It keeps us in shape, and athletic for the upcoming year for raider's Challenge and it teaches us about ROTC camp."

Nearly 240 students from all over the area break out of the four walls of a classroom and jump in to action.

"This gives them the opportunity to put those leadership principles into skills and give them the opportunity to come out, be in charge of a platoon or company or squad and try to use the leadership skills they've been taught," said Major Branch.

"If you're planning on joining the military, you already know what to do so it's not as new for you," said Smith's Station High School JROTC member, Amanda Podeszwa.

To wrap up the student's week of hard work, Major Branch says school officials stopped by to experience camp life, "Administrators come out and actually join in and have fun too. They get to jump and see what the kids are doing and understanding part of that leadership helps with discipline in school."

Columbus High School Principal Judy Whitt jumped out of the tower, "We always ask the students to step outside the box and try things and challenge themselves and do things they aren't comfortable with themselves. So, I would like to show them we not only ask them to do things but we'll try them ourselves."

"One of our missions with JROTC is to motivate our young people to be better citizens. Thus starts with citizenship building principles where they lead by example. Hopefully they take this back to school to help in the classroom also," added Branch.

Not only will these kids get valuable information to take back to the classroom, but these skills will help prepare them for the future.