Hike To Remember

NJROTC Builds Relationships While Learning Lessons

A group of ROTC students set out on an eight mile hike led by Lt. Col. Davidson to his farm on Sept. 28. The hike proved to be much more than just an ordinary walk for some of the students. They learned that ROTC itself isn’t just about the military.

“It prepares you mentally,” officer Rebecca Sharp said. “You know, you think ‘dang, I’m going to stop here; I’m going to fall out.’ That’s when you realize that you can push yourself. It shows you who you really are.”

The hike provided more than just mental endurance for some of the cadets, but  it also served as physical fitness and a way to meet fellow students.

“[I joined] to get in better shape and to get connected with the freshman that came in this year,” Caleb Estes said.

The hike showed the students what life is like in the military. It gave the cadets a taste of what similar military activities could be like. For cadets who are considering a future in the military, the hike gave them an insight on what to expect.

“When you’re in the military, you wake up usually at five in the morning and you go out on a five to six mile hike with a 40 pound pack, your boots, and your outfit,” Ashley Castillo said. “It’s all a mind game; you have to make yourself keep going. They don’t tell you how long you’re going to go. They’ll tell you ‘oh, we’re stopping here!’ and then they’ll walk by. It’s all just a mind game. It’s meant for you to push harder.” 

For all of the cadets, the hike served as a bonding experience and taught them about brotherhood. The group would stop occasionally for a quick history lesson, and some of the cadets would swarm to pass out water to their comrades. Nobody was left behind and all of the students were constantly encouraging each other and providing support for  their fellow cadets.

For some, ROTC simply means military history classes

. For others, ROTC means an everlasting brotherhood, endurance, strength, and pride.