JROTC Cadets Across RGV Busy at Leadership Camp

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HARLINGEN – More than 200 students from Roma to Brownsville are participating in the Junior Leadership Camp at Marine Military Academy in Harlingen.

"This is a four-day camp that we do swimming, repelling, slide of life, mud pit. We do land navigation. We do leadership reaction course,” explained Lt. Col. James Troia, the Edinburg North JROTC instructor.

"I really enjoy being out here, and I'm not going to say it's easy because it's not,” said Camila, a Porter High School student. “The sergeants are helping us."

The U.S. Army and the Rio Grande Valley JROTC Association sponsor the camp. Most Rio Grande Valley high schools have a Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps.

Participants are up at 5 a.m., run drills before breakfast and spend the day testing their leadership skills.

"I'm proud of them,” said Roma High School JROTC instructor Lt. Col. Luis Barrera. “It takes a lot to come from your home where you never get up at five in the morning."

He added, “Besides being physical, there's a lot of mental. They have to use their knowledge from their own way of figuring out things, so they learn how to interact with other kids."

Troia said, “This develops their leadership abilities as they go back to school and progress through their school to feel confident and to get better grades."

Sergio, a student from Mercedes High School, said it’s been a very good experience. "I'm learning things, like working with other people. … I think people should come out here more often."

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