2023 Summer Camps
4 April 2023
Each summer NJROTC units around the country are involved in leadership and development training for returning cadets. RHS NJROTC remains committed to helping all of its cadets develop into future productive members of society. Many lessons are taught in the classroom while others are learned through community service or as a member of a team. Summer training serves as an extension of that. Cadets won’t be running the streets, they’ll be running ON the streets (and hills and sand and gravel). Summer training requires cadets to get out of their comfort zone. They don’t get to hang out with all of their friends – only their best ones! They don’t get to have cell phones (although they do while traveling to and from camp) or play video games while there. They won’t need to. They’ll be communicating with each other to overcome obstacles and the challenges won’t be on a computer, they’ll be real! They won’t need their parents to make their beds or straighten their rooms. We’ll make sure they do that! They won’t be sitting around eating snacks because there won’t be time. What will happen is that they will be challenged physically, intellectually, and emotionally. They will better understand teamwork after bonding for a week and will return with a different outlook AND confidence level.
Assisting with, or participating in, the various leadership courses is a privilege vice a right. As such, cadets must understand what is expected in general and for individual camps in particular. Approval to participate MUST be granted by a NJROTC instructor. Cadets need to be in good physical condition and properly groomed before departing for camp. Specific information includes:
There are two basic types of training including (1) leadership and (2) miscellaneous.
I. The various leadership courses include:
1. Freshman Indoctrination Training (FIT) (a.k.a. Freshman Orientation) – This training is designed to jumpstart new cadets into NJROTC. It is open to all new cadets and selected returning cadets who oversee the training. The tentative date will be in July but possibly 19-23 June. This training will be conducted on campus and is expected to include a field trip on the last day. Cost will be $15 for ALL cadets who want to go. We are currently exploring options for providing lunch each day at no cost to cadets. Incoming cadets who complete each day successfully will be advanced to Cadet Seaman Apprentice (E-2).
2. Basic Leadership Training (BLT) – This training allows returning cadets to train with cadets from other schools in a safe, off-campus environment. Cadets are afforded the opportunity to teach and learn from others, and will be challenged to become better leaders and followers. To accommodate cadets, there will be six offerings this year including:
Camp Buck Toms in Rockwood, Tennessee 27 May-3 June. Although Buck Toms is a Boy Scouts camp, female cadets are invited. Events will include whitewater rafting, rappelling, zip line, high and low confidence courses, trap shooting, archery, and team building. Competitions include drill, orienteering, marksmanship (small bore), and academics (written exams and brain brawl). Cadets will be able to earn multiple NJROTC ribbons and will compete for camp awards. Cadets sleep in Adirondacks which are small buildings housing eight cadets each. They have a roof and floor, along with plywood bunks and three walls. Tarps are used for the fourth wall when necessary for privacy or protection from rain. Cadets must bring sleeping bags or other linen. PT is conducted each morning at 6 a.m. and we walk everywhere we go except for the whitewater rafting trip. From the farthest point to the chow hall is two miles each way so cadets will rack up 10-15 miles on their feet daily and the camp is in the hills of Tennessee. Cadets who are not in decent physical condition should not sign up for this camp. Cadets also stand fire watches throughout the week. Transportation of cadets to and from this camp will be provided. Parents may attend the graduation including the pass-in-review ceremony. Chaperones are not needed at this time. The cost of this camp is TENTATIVELY set at $375 plus meals while traveling to and from camp. Cadets who do not want to go whitewater rafting may pay $35 less. We will stay in a hotel on the travel night to Tennessee but not on the way back.
JROTC Cadet Leadership Camp in Columbiana, Alabama. There are three different dates set, each lasting four days but the most likely one for RHS is 16-19 June. The training is run by the Army JROTC and will be held at the Alabama 4-H Center. Events will include the giant swing, rock wall climbing, lakefront activities, high and low confidence courses, and team building. Cadets will earn one or more NJROTC ribbons and will compete for camp awards. Cadets sleep in bunkhouses. PT is conducted each morning at 6 a.m. and we walk everywhere we go. Cadets should be in decent physical condition for this camp. Cadets also stand watches throughout the week. Transportation of cadets to and from this camp will likely be provided. We are limited to a maximum of six cadets at this time. The cost of this camp will be $100 plus meals while traveling to and from camp. Parents may attend graduation.
Camp Shelby in Hattiesburg, Mississippi 11-17 June. Camp Shelby is an Army National Guard Base. The Letter of Instruction (LOI) outlining the events for this camp has not been released. It will be co-hosted with Area 8’s Leadership Academy and is expected to cost $200 per cadet. Cadets will earn at least one NJROTC ribbon. Cadets will be housed in barracks and will have to bring their own linen (not sleeping bags), as well. Expect classroom and field activities along with daily PT. Focus is on leadership, drill, and physical fitness training. Parents may attend graduation.
Camp Blanding in Starke, Florida 26 June-1 July. Camp Blanding is an Army National Guard Base. Events will include PT daily, waterfront activities, orienteering, leadership reaction course, obstacle course, academic testing, base museum visit, team sports, and others as they become scheduled. Cadets will earn at least one NJROTC ribbon and possibly more as they compete for camp awards. Cadets are housed in barracks and will have to bring their own linen (not sleeping bags). Transportation of cadets to and from this camp will be provided. Parents are welcome to attend the graduation ceremony including the pass-in-review. The cost of this camp will be $225 plus meals while traveling to and from camp. We will likely limit this to four cadets.
Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) camp at Troy University in Troy, Alabama 4-9 June. This camp will consist of a mix of traditional JROTC BLT and STEM activities. The curriculum includes leadership development, STEM learning through hands-on experiments and lab experiences at Troy University, tours of area industries, and evening speakers. Camp will give cadets the opportunity to see STEM content and technology in action as they interact with scientists and engineers designing and innovating solutions in area industries. Cadets will observe first-hand a broad range of STEM-dependent jobs available to them and participate as part of a cadet-team to create, test, and improve their own solutions to a STEM-focused engineering design challenge. The learning experiences will result in an increased awareness of lucrative STEM career opportunities and the skills cadets need to secure highly sought-after jobs. The camp is mentally and physically demanding. Cadets must be able to meet the challenge of 16-hour days, rappelling, orienteering, water survival, and daily PT and sports competitions. The cost of this camp will be $150 and transportation will be provided. Parents may attend graduation.
3. Leadership Academy (LA) – This training is designed for selected high-achieving, returning, rising NS3 or NS4 cadets who aspire to the highest leadership opportunities and challenges within the NJROTC program. Expectations, both before and after camp, are much higher than those for BLT and the number of quotas is limited. Selectees MUST be able to pass the NJROTC Cadet Challenge physical fitness test which must be certified in writing by the SNSI. Graduates are awarded the Leadership Ribbon and a silver aiguillette to wear on the right sleeve of their uniforms.
LA will be held at Camp Shelby in Hattiesburg, Mississippi 11-17 June. Camp Shelby is an Army National Guard Base. The LOI outlining the events for this camp has not been released. It will be co-hosted with Area 8’s BLT and is expected to cost $200 per cadet. Cadets will be housed in barracks and will have to bring their own linen (not sleeping bags), as well. Expect some classroom and some field activities along with drill training and daily PT. This camp is much like a mini-bootcamp. Parents may attend graduation.
II. Miscellaneous summer training includes opportunities such as:
1. Alabama Boys State (28 May-3 June)/Girls State (4-9 June) – Training will be at Troy University in Troy, Alabama. These require sponsorship from a local American Legion Post and costs are typically covered. “Delegates” will find the opportunity to build new friendships, participate in a mock government, and hear from and meet a diverse array of Alabama leaders such as Congressmen, state elected officials, business leaders, civic leaders, and others. Delegates will have the opportunity to join interest groups that focus on their individual areas of interest such as law school, fire college, law enforcement academy, aerospace academy, lobbyists, city government, county government, constitutional convention, engineer/computer academy, and environmental interest group. Delegates will also have activity time during which they can participate in recreational activities such as basketball, volleyball, softball, soccer, academic bowl, etc. Delegates must be rising seniors. Transportation may be provided by the American Legion although there may be a nominal cost. More information can be found at https://alboysstate.org/ and http://www.alabamagirlsstate.com/.
2. National Flight Academy (NFA) – Training courses last one day, three days, or six days. Costs vary depending on course length. There are multiple course dates, but all are offered at NAS Pensacola. Transportation will be the responsibility of the individual cadets or chaperones. Visit www.nationalflightacademy.com for more information.
3. Georgia Orienteering Advanced Training (G.O.A.T.) – Training will be held at Hard Labor Creek State park in Rutledge, Georgia 4-9 June. This training is hosted by a two-time NJROTC national champion coach and will include assistance from other national champion coaches. This camp is open only to cadets who were on the orienteering team and competed this year typically completing at Orange, Brown, or Green course. We will only get about three quotas for this camp. Cadets will stay in hotels. Daily transportation will NOT be provided by the camp. Male cadets must be able to run 5 kilometers (3.1 miles) in 28 minutes and females in 32 minutes to participate in this camp. This must be certified by the SNSI in writing. Transportation of cadets to and from this camp, as well as daily between the hotel and camp, will NOT be provided and must be provided by cadets’ parents or chaperones. Parents can observe the closing ceremony. The cost of this camp is $350 plus a share of the hotel costs, transportation, and some meals thereby making the final cost about $750-$1,000. Non-refundable deposits of $150 are due by Friday, 28 April.
4. Texas Junior Orienteering Camp (TJOC) – Training will be held in the Dallas-area and expected to take place around 4-9 June. This training is hosted by a three-time NJROTC national champion coach and will include assistance from other nationally recognized coaches. This camp is open only to cadets who were on the orienteering team and competed this year typically completing at Orange, Brown, or Green courses. We will likely get several quotas for this camp. The LOI has not yet been released so we are unsure of the cost, lodging, and transportation requirements. More information will be provided to interested cadets when it is promulgated.
5. GenCyber Camp – Training will be held on the campus at the University of Southern Mississippi 4-9 and 11-16 June. Cadets only attend one of these weeks. This is an excellent camp for those who want to learn more about cyber security and especially for those on our CyberPatriot team. Camp will provide hands-on learning activities that will allow participants to learn about cybersecurity vulnerabilities, cyber defense, cybercrime and ethics, and how safe online behavior is crucial to our national security. Cadets will learn from cybersecurity faculty, industry, and military professionals. This camp is free although cadets will have to provide their own transportation to and from Hattiesburg, Mississippi. Interested cadets can sign up at: https://usmforms.formstack.com/forms/2023_gencyber_summer_camp_application.
6. Various team camps including drill, air rifle, academic, and orienteering – These camps will be held on campus but are not scheduled yet. However, it is anticipated that drill and air rifle will conduct camps at a minimum. These will likely coincide with FIT.
W. F. Starr
Lieutenant Commander, US Navy retired
Robertsdale HS NJROTC SNSI