Saipan Southern High School’s Manta Ray Battalion recently hosted the annual JROTC Cadet Leadership Challenge for the first time ever since the pandemic outbreak, giving the cadets an opportunity to demonstrate and enhance their leadership skills, discipline, team work, and self-confidence.
The Cadet Leadership Challenge Encampment, which was participated in by cadets from Saipan’s neighboring schools, took place from April 7, 2022, to April 10, 2022, at Saipan Southern High School’s stage area. Tents that were set up in accordance with the schools that participated, which included Marianas High School, Rota High School, Tinian High School, and Kagman High School.
On the first day of the encampment, all schools arrived at SSHS and the Top 3 of each battalion were briefed by the SSHS leaders about what to expect and the overall schedule of the event. They used this day to set up their tents and form up the first ever brigade formation. At night, the SSHS Manta Ray Battalion hosted an entertainment night, which included singing and games.
On the second day, the cadets woke up at 5am, departed the SSHS campground and transferred to the Carolinian Utt in Garapan where training took place. They had a schedule planned out for this day but the adventure training activities were cut short as news of THS and RHS leaving were announced. Before leaving the Carolinian Utt, they conducted a Tapout Challenge, with THS as the winner of this challenge. The battalions then returned to SSHS to play sports, which included basketball and volleyball, as well as a Tapout Challenge, with THS as the winner of this challenge. At dinner time, KHS hosted an entertainment night, which included singing, a lip-sync battle, and freestyle dancing.
On their last day of encampment, the cadets cleaned up their tents and formed their last brigade formation before eating breakfast. During breakfast time, all battalions from other schools bonded and took that time to get to know one another. After breakfast, all schools departed from SSHS.
“What I like most about the JCLC event was that we were able to become closer with other JROTC schools and that it was a learning experience for cadets. …Overall I feel good for participating in the event as it is my last year in the program, I wished we were able to stay longer,” said one of the Rota High School participants.
“I really enjoyed the entertainment, the games, and the whole event. Not only were the games and performances fun to watch, they really brought the whole brigade together. It unified each battalion together, creating a very significant bond between each other,” said C/CSM Chit Acollador from THS. “Overall it was enjoyable! There were some parts where it could be exciting but it’s still an event I was glad I participated in. Building new relationships and the fun that everyone had certainly was the center point of the event. I’m glad I was able to participate in this event and hope it will be even better for the next few years to come.”
Although this event was cut short due to unforeseen circumstances, the cadets were able to participate in adventure training activities that were designed to develop and enhance their own leadership skills, discipline, teamwork, and self-confidence. Plus they all got to know other cadets from neighboring schools and islands. (PR/Marie Ann Hembra)