Hawaii cadets are motivated in adventure challenge

| May 7, 2010 | 0 Comments

Cadets propel themselves across a self-constructed rope bridge during the 5th Annual Waianae Adventure Challenge at Pililaau Army Recreation Center. (Courtesy Photo)Cadet / 1st LT. Chantel Clarke
JROTC Searider Battalion Public Affairs, Waianae High School 

WAIANAE — More than 300 cadets from Army, Air Force, Marine and Navy JROTC units, along with cadets from the Youth Challenge Academy, mustered for the fifth Annual Waianae Adventure Challenge, at the Piliaau Army Recreation Center, here, April 23-25. 

Soldiers from the 1st Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, “Gimlets,” 25th Infantry Division, and from the Hawaii Army National Guard’s 3rd Bn., 7th Field Artillery Regt., graded and judged the event, as well as offered motivation and support. 

The Youth Challenge Academy and 27 schools from all across the state submitted 70 teams to compete in the WAC. 

The competition divisions comprised male, female and mixed teams, and a non-competitive division also competed, although those scores were not submitted in the overall scoring. 

This challenge gave each cadet a chance to test his or her abilities both physically and mentally by competing in seven rigorous events during a two-day period. 

Cadets participate in a paddle board challenge during the fifth Annual Waianae Adventure Challenge at the Pililaau Army Recreation Center. (Courtesy Photo)In the first challenge, cadets completed an inverted crawl across the sand, a water crossing and a half-mile beach run. 

The second event consisted of a swim around a jetty, a paddle board challenge and a half-mile canoe paddle. 

In the third trial, cadets properly constructed, used and broke down a rope bridge. 

The fourth contest was the physical fitness test. Each cadet performed as many push-ups and sit-ups as possible during a two-minute period, completed a standing long-jump and ran a 300-yard shuttle run as a team. 

The fifth test was the tug of war, a single-elimination challenge, which required cadets to not only show their physical strength, but also their mental abilities. Determined to finish the challenge, the cadets woke up bright and early to prep and get “pumped” for the last day of competition at Our Lady Of Keaau on the Waianae Coast.

More than 300 cadets wait for competition results at the Waianae Adventure Challenge award ceremony. When results were in, Youth Challenge Academy took overall trophy winner, as well as the male team trophy. (Courtesy Photo)The sixth event combined a team paddle board swim; a litter carry over and under boundaries, and through tires and cones; and a commando crawl across a rope bridge. 

From there, the cadets were off to their final event: a 1.8-mile run up the mountain. 

Once cadets reached the top,  teams ran halfway down the trail where each team member had to make a hasty rappel down the side of the mountain and run to the finish line. 

When every team had finished, the cadets enjoyed a lunch provided by the Waianae Military Civilian Advisory Council. While cadets  waited for scores, Command Sgt. Maj. Thao Kamakahi-Watson, 516th Signal Brigade, 25th ID, and originally from Waianae, instilled motivation in the cadets with her success story about how her instructors helped her through high school and continue to help her everyday. 

The male team trophy went to Youth Challenge Academy, the female team trophy went to Hilo High School, and the mixed-team trophy went to Campbell High School. 

Youth Challenge Academy also won the overall trophy and got to take home the eagle. 

Each cadet had a wonderful time, whether they walked out of the hall with or without a trophy, as all were still proud of themselves for completing this epic adventure challenge.

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