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JROTC holds leadership camp

Ambitious students in West Lincoln High School’s JROTC have already started preparing for the next school year.
“It’s a lot of what they did in one year shoved into one week,” said Lt. Cmdr Karl Jordan.
Students involved in the high school’s program began a week long Leadership Camp on Monday.
They spend their days learning about practicing drills, playing football and learning about military procedures and terms.
They also get lessons in leadership from both teachers and fellow students.
“I know how to present myself as a leader,” said Justine Solak, a member of the JROTC who went to South Carolina for leadership training course.
“It’s easier for me now because I know a lot more about what I’m doing, and I know how to treat the cadets in a way that won’t downgrade me and helps them,” she said.
The majority of the students attending the leadership week have already had JROTC classes.
They hope to keep their skills sharp over the summer and have a little fun in the process.
There are also a dozen students who have never taken JROTC and hope to learn more about the program.
“I wanted to get a head start on the class,” said Nelson Spears, a rising sophomore.
Nelson plans to take the class in the fall, but has no intention of joining the military.
“I just don’t think I’d like it,” he said.
He does enjoy the summer program.
“You have more freedom than you usually do in school,” he said. “You learn new things, and it keeps you interested.”
Besides memorizing military codes of conduct and learning drill maneuvers, the students also get to hear stories from their teachers.
Coast Guard Chief Bill Shipley took some time at the end of the day to tell his students about his time in boot camp.
It turns out Shipley wasn’t quite the master student, and occasionally got in trouble for things like falling asleep in class.
“That’s why I know you all so well,” he told his students. “I was just like you.”
Students have time throughout the day to have fun with their friends and hear military stories, but most of them realize the focus of the week is to work.
“It’s a learning time, not a time to be goofing off,” said Jeff Shaffer, a student.
Some cadets who have taken leadership positions hope to have everyone take things seriously. If they don’t, it’s the students’ loss.
“If you want to learn, you can learn,” said Kyle Bostic, a student. “If you don’t, we tried our best.”by Sarah Grano

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