The Washingtonville High School JROTC Goes Camping
By: C/PFC Aurelio Medina and C/2LT Morgan Van Zandt
On Saturday, 12 October the cadets from the Washingtonville JROTC headed to Stokes State Forest in New Jersey for an overnight Field Training Exercise (FTX) trip. They conducted round-robin training in order to acquire basic survival skills, such as fire building; land navigation, shelter building, how to negotiate a one rope bridge, knot tying, how to do a swiss seat, and first-aid. These stations were led by the JROTC Cadet leadership, with the supervision of their instructor, Chief Brickel. Upon arrival the cadets set up their tents, organized the equipment, and were assigned a squad for the days training. There was a total of six stations which taught the cadets essential survival skills. Cadets were shown how to properly perform CPR and other vital lifesaving first aid skills. Lunch was provided by the local U.S. Army Recruiter, Staff Sergeant Leskanic, and Recruitment Command. The cadets were shown how to use the provided heater, and other MRE accessories, and absolutely loved eating them. For dinner the cadets were tasked with preparing their own meals. Of course, this meant that they enjoyed campfire hotdogs, chicken, ramen, canned beans and ravioli, S’mores, and a variety of other foods that would make any nutritionist cringe. After dinner the cadets participated in a night filled with games such as capture the flag, tug-o-war,and flag football. According to the Raider Commander, C/1LT Robert Zoldak, “The FTX was an overall success, and a great way for the cadets of the Magic Battalion to bond and build their leadership skills. I think everyone will remember for a long time that when Chief Brickel blows his whistle, you better not be the last one to reach the formation.” The FTX was a great way for the cadets to learn new skills, build relationships with their fellow cadets, have fun, and continue to reinforce the values they learn in JROTC. All the cadets have expressed their excitement for the spring FTX and to build upon the values and skills they received. This has become one of the cadets favorite JROTC activities.