Cadets donned a mix of dress uniforms and fatigues Thursday to give Elkin middle-schoolers a taste of the military Thursday afternoon as Elkin High School JROTC hosted its biannual Middle School Days in the gym and by the baseball field.
The Army JROTC cadets, under the instruction of instructor Maj. Roy Ferguson, presented drills for the middle-schoolers, which also served as practice for the school’s Drill Meet it hosted Saturday.
Following drills in the gym, students got the opportunity to see the Raider Team in action as they demonstrated the rope bridge obstacle it must completed as part of Raider Meet competition. Four of the middle school students were shown how to create their own rope harnesses and then put in the line up and shuttled themselves along the rope bridge as their school mates cheered for them.
Elkin Middle School Principal Casey Morrison said the event Thursday was perfect timing, as the eighth-graders have to complete sign ups for their high school freshman year classes by March 15.
“A lot of our kids like to be active,” Morrison said. “Most the time it’s just the dress side they get to see with drill, this is the first time they’ve done the Raiders.”
Ferguson said with a small school system and the middle and high schools sharing a campus, it was perfect set up to be able to demonstrate what JROTC is about and some of the activities available for those interested in being cadets.
“It is a really good program for students who need to be organized, or need help being organized,” said Morrison of those who might be interested in being cadets.
Ferguson said this is the first year the cadets have demonstrated the Raider component, because last year the weather was bad. But he was glad Thursday that it was an option with nice weather.
“I think [the day] really sparks interest in the middle-schoolers,” he said. “We let two or three really get involved. It’s just something I came up with to get the middle school involved.”
All of the seventh- and eighth-graders were brought together for the event.
Wendy Byerly Wood may be reached at 336-258-4035 or on Twitter @wendywoodeditor.