I want to tell you about Advanced Trainings! The Sea Cadets “claims to fame” are the week-long (or longer) training camps that are held all over the country during winter, spring, and especially summer breaks. Training topics cover orientation/boot camp to culinary, medical, special warfare, STEM, marksmanship, scuba, aviation, and leadership, just to name a few. (Cadets can do mini SEAL training! How cool is that?!) The cost to attend is extremely fair – Here are some of my impressions of our cadets:
I was so impressed with these young people. They are 10-18 years old. They came from all over the eastern US. (Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Kentucky, Washington DC, Long Island, and Nebraska, just to name a few places.) They did amazingly fun things and amazingly hard things. They spent 6-7 days away from home, some of them for the first time ever, sleeping on Army cots in the Indiana National Guard armory. They got letters from home, but had no access to phones or electronics, and had no calls home. (Happy to report that everyone survived the screen withdrawal, too. ) They stood security watch every night. They did PT (physical training… aka exercise) every day. They learned to shoot rifles, and how to do it safely. They spent time in the classroom studying all sorts of skills and terminology – and there WERE tests! They ate new foods. They made new friends. They learned teamwork, resolved their differences, and helped each other thrive throughout the week.
They were a sight to behold in their dress whites during graduation, where they marched with precision and stood at attention for the entire 90 minute ceremony – which was choreographed and taught by the most senior cadets, NOT by the adults. I think my two kids who attended matured by at least a year each. (They are even getting along better! What?!) It was a true privilege to meet these kids and watch them in action last week – and to see the principles in action that are, well, drilled into them during their monthly drills throughout the year. The Sea Cadets mission is to create leaders of character, and these 40 or so kids are well on their way!