Class 53, Week 12

This Week at Challenge, Week 12

Week 12 was a fun and exciting week for the cadets.  This week included activities that not only helped them for their future, but also helped to save lives.  With one week until visitation, all the cadets are motivated and excelling in their studies and with their platoon activities.

Last Friday, the Red Cross came to OYCP for a blood drive. Most of the cadets gave blood, with many giving the coveted double red cells.  Cadet Luna, 2nd platoon, who was a blood donor gave his perspective on the blood drive.

OYCP Blood Drive
By Cadet Luna

Last Friday and Saturday, cadets here at OYCP experienced something some cadets haven’t before. Although there were some veterans to this event, the blood drive was a first for a majority of cadets donating blood. The energy you could feel on the drill floor was contagious. The Red Cross Volunteers were clearly very pleased with the turnout of cadets willing to donate blood, but for the unlucky few who were turned away, they returned to their homerooms with a frown on their faces. Certain weight, and hemoglobin requirements must be met in order for them to give blood and for some they didn’t weigh enough or their iron count of their blood was too low. They received a thank you for trying and were told to rejoin the rest of their platoons. But even though few cadets were turned away, those OYCP cadets who did donate potentially will save 300 lives based upon the amount of blood donated last weekend. Imagine, however, the process we all endured and the mix of emotions many of us felt last weekend who donated.

You’re nervous, maybe shaking a little as you approach the bench where you’ll be donating. You meet the trained Red Cross Volunteer who will be tending to you and they tell you it’ll all be alright and you do your absolute best to believe them.  After a quick prick in the finger, they swab down your arm with iodine and then boom, the needle is in and you’re giving blood. Wow, that was easy. Now comes the hard part. You’ve come to realize that bag is full of YOUR precious blood. “Man, that’s a lot of blood,” you think to yourself, but really, in the large scheme of things, that blood could save somebody’s life, and so you know it was worth it. The Red Cross Volunteer slips the needle out of your arm, wraps it with the tell-tale red tape that basically screams, “Hey, I just gave blood!”, and a Student Government cadet approaches to escort you to a nearby table to get delicious snacks and some juice. Once you unwillingly hand that big red blanket back to a volunteer and assure yourself that you can walk yourself back to class, you return to your platoon with a grin and some red tape on your elbow; you just saved lives and all you had to do was give a little.

The other big event the cadets participated in this week was the Career Fair.  More than 40 vendors from around Central Oregon came to the facility to tell the cadets about their line of work and what kind of training is necessary to perform the duties associated with the job.  Cadet Torrez, 3rd Platoon gave her perspective on this semi-annual event.

Career Fair
Cadet Torrez

On Thursday, April 6, the cadets of OYCP experienced what might be, for some, a plan for their future, the Career Fair. We all got the opportunity to learn about the careers that we might be interested in.  It was almost as if many of the cadets had an epiphany of what they wanted to be.

Over 40 vendors had arrived that day, and all were very detailed about their careers.  People from the Army to professional cosmetologists exposed cadets to a wide range of careers to choose from. All of the volunteers gladly answered the cadets’ questions thoroughly and even gave them advice about how they could get on that path. Many of the volunteers had even brought various things to give away such as pencils, water bottles and stickers to promote their companies. Others brought examples of their work such as our cook, Ms. Stanley, with her mouth-watering creations from the bakery.

All of the cadets enjoyed the fun, adventurous day of roaming from one career booth to another. With an open mind to all of the different careers, each cadet had learned something they didn’t know before. It was a great event that helped set many of the cadets on an exciting path for their future.

With half the program completed, some cadets are finishing their Math and English workbooks and have begun to work on earning some extra credits.  This also means that cadets who are struggling in those subjects now have peer tutors to assist them.  In Science, the cadets are finishing up their gravity car unit, while in Government, the cadets learned about the judicial branch of government.

The staff is very excited to meet the parents next week, and we are readying our grades to tell you how your child is currently doing in school. All of the cadets are looking forward to eating a big lunch and spending time with you, especially the eating; but they will really remember your time together. Remember visitation is Thursday, April 13th for Third platoon, Friday, April 14th, for First platoon, and Saturday, April 15th, for Second platoon.  Please plan on arriving at the facility no later than 8 a.m.  Because of your visitation, there will be no Blog update posted on April 14th.  Upcoming events include Week 14 individual awards and the start of Blue Stage.  With graduation only 10 weeks away please remember to boost the morale of your cadet. Your support is what gets the cadets through the program, so please remember to send lots of letters or e-mails.