Week-long Junior ROTC leadership camp comes to an end

Published: Jun. 9, 2023 at 8:07 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - Hundreds of high schoolers ,who spent a week in the Chattahoochee Valley at a leadership camp, are going home a better version of themselves.

This week, was a time for these students to step out of their comfort zones. Most of the cadets News Leader 9 spoke, with are going home with a horse voice after a week full of chanting, but one thing they could say strongly is they will miss being apart of the camp.

The JROTC Cadet Leadership Challenge or JCLC, finished up Friday morning with a graduation ceremony honoring the week’s endeavors.

Lieutenant Colonel Herbert Sanders Jr. says it’s a joy to watch each cadet grow in a matter of 6 days.

“Some came in as novice leaders, and are departing JCLC being true leaders that can go back to their high schools, church, and communities to go back, and do great things,” says Sanders.

Carver high school senior Jada Tarver has a neck decorated with medals of achievement from the week, she was in the Alpha company.

“I’m so sad, but it was fun while it lasted. I made so many friends, we worked together as a team, and I’m going to miss it,” says Tarver.

One of Tarver’s friends is Russell County High school senior, Dejanay Curtis. She’s taking home an advanced level cadet trophy for being a step-up leader.

“I realized that someone needed to stand up, and show others that it is okay to get out of your comfort zone, and it’s not wrong to talk to other people,” says Curtis. “I’m sad, but I’m much more of a happy person because without this camp, I wouldn’t have made the friends I made this week.”

18 high school JROTC programs from Georgia and Alabama participated this week. For the first time this summer, Charlotte Amalie High School participated, that school is from the Virgin Islands. One cadet, Asher Fox says it feels amazing to make it through this week.

“It was hard and we made it through. It was a long journey, I would say, every morning we would wake up at 5, and wouldn’t stop until like 6.”

One Jordan High School student Jaylen Gary, is leaving JCLC knowing the meaning of working together.

“There’s no “I” in team and honestly, if you’re only bettering yourself and not bettering others around you, there’s no point, “ says Gary, “But when you come together and you’re doing good, others around you can do good as well, it spreads positivity.”

191 high schoolers graduated from the JCLC camp, and all are going home with a leadership and citizenship medal.

“You’re always going to be in a different environment no matter who you’re with. You have to always find a way to come together no matter what race, or what background they come from, and how they operate. We always have to find a way to come together and be a part of a bigger team,” says Gary.