1. Attention: We have put together a thread with tips and a tutorial video to help with using the new software. Please take a moment to check out the thread here: Trapshooters.com Tutorial & Help Video.
    Dismiss Notice

Proud parents thanks to Oregon Nat'l Guard

Discussion in 'Uncategorized Threads' started by Brian in Oregon, Jun 13, 2007.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Brian in Oregon

    Brian in Oregon Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    25,238
    Location:
    Deplorable Bitter Clinger in Liberal La La Land
    My son, Sean, was doing badly in school. Not a disipline problem, but acedemically. He was short a substantial number of credits, and would have had to go to a fifth year of high school to graduate.<br>
    <br>
    We were told of a program for youths who had either dropped out or were short credits to graduate. It's basically a boot camp, a military high school, that's run by the National Guard. Most if not all states have one. Ours is called the Oregon Youth ChalleNGe Program. Note the NG in ChalleNGe, standing for National Guard.<br>
    <br>
    At no cost to the student candidate or his/her family, the National Guard enters them into a 20 week intense training course. This is a state accredited high school. It is NOT for youths in trouble with the law. They must have no felony convictions, and not have any pending court issues. The National Guard is doing this program to reduce the impact on the state from youths who would wind up on welfare, be in the justice system, etc., since dropouts are abnormally high in these areas.<br>
    <br>
    Sean expressed an interest in attending. I took the attitude that he had to convince me he really wanted it. We were told in no uncertain terms this was an intense, in your face, boot camp. I wanted him to finish what he started, and not take the slot of another kid who would. He outlined reasons why he should go, and convinced me.<br>
    <br>
    Sean started in mid-January. The first two weeks are intense, and I mean intense, boot camp. They learn by the numbers. They are pushed to their limits. The goal is to build confidence, self-disipline and respect. A couple of military recruiters have stated that the two-week course the potential candidates get is tougher than in the real military. In fact, the drill instructors were on them right then and there - the shock treatment. After they filed out with several DI's on their butts, yelling at them, the commandant told us that our kids were making new friends that they weren't sure of, and we might even get calls from the kids wanting to come home. Some did. Out of the 150 boys and girls in the class, over 20 dropped out in the first two weeks.<br>
    <br>
    After that, they have 18 weeks of classroom training, similar to high school, but run boot camp style. It's intense. A student in a normal high school in this state would get three to four credits in that time. At OYCP, the cadets earn 8 credits. Except for those students who are close to graduating, it's all or nothing. They pass or fail the entire course (though they are graded individually for classes).<br>
    <br>
    Family visitations are restricted and infrequent. The cadets are isolated. We've only seen Sean three times during his course, and even then they were brief, one being only one afternoon, the rest for a weekend. We could write all the letters we wanted back and forth. This isolation made most if not all the cadets understand the importance of family. You often do not understand your desire for something until it's withheld.<br>
    <br>
    Cadets get no soda pop, processed sugars, etc. They get three squares, milk, juice, and good family style food. The PT (Physical Training) is so intense that these kids are being fed 3500 calories a day, and they whine they are hungry. That's a lot of exercise to burn that much. Some of the overweight kids have lost 30 to 60 lbs in 20 weeks, and replaced it with solid muscle. Lots of running, exercises and drill instruction. Sean has shot up in height since he was there, and may be taller than I am now. They carry canteens and can drink all the water they want, which is several quarts a day.<br>
    <br>
    Cadets wear camo BDU's (they call them Class A's), or BDU pants with dark green t-shirts. They have cold weather gear (lined M-65 field jackets) and jogging outfits. And it did get cold there. Often snow and temps into the 20's. (But better than the summer course with temps in the 100's.)<br>
    <br>
    Each cadet has to perform 80 hours of community service during their stay. This has ranged from trail construction/reconstruction, to park maintainance, to working special events, to animal hospitals, etc. Sean put in 94 hours.<br>
    <br>
    And, Sean also has been a squad leader a few times. They rotate the position, but he kept getting the duty assigned back to him. Once he had confidence in himself and self-disipline, he became a natural leader.<br>
    <br>
    The program does not stop when the 20 weeks are up. They continue for 12 more months of mentoring and followup when they go back home to high school, college or a job, or even in the military. Sean's mentor is a neighbor who was also a scout leader with me for several years.<br>
    <br>
    Grades. Sean was getting C's, D's, F's and incompletes in high school. He has A's and B's, and one C that was extra credit. In one of his classes he was rated 112%. He consistently flunked science in high school. He earned a solid A for science at OYCP.<br>
    <br>
    Sean was 1-1/2 credits short of fully graduating. He crammed those in during the last two weeks. Keep in mind that's half the credits a high school kid normally earns during half the school year. We knew he was trying to get his diploma, but did not know until today he actually succeeded, when we found out at the graduation ceromony. (Those who don't complete high school return to their local high school, because many of these cadets are freshmen and sophomores.) So Sean not only brought his grades up, but he went from needing to attend a 5th year of high school, to completely graduating in three years, a year early.<br>
    <br>
    Sean is going to attend the local college this fall. This is a kid for which college was out of the question. He's going to be taking an AWS Welding Certification course, which runs 9 months. He'll be a fully certified welder when he's done. At which point if he wants to, we'll see about his going into advanced machine shop (mills, lathes, CNC, etc.) and continue in college.<br>
    <br>
    Sean had wanted to get welding training in the military, but it's a roll of the dice if you'll get your chosen MOS. I told Sean it would be best for me to put him through welding certification, and if he still wanted to join the military then, fine, he would have a better chance of getting into an MOS with welding.<br>
    <br>
    His graduation was impressive. A couple of generals were part of the officiation staff. The cadet drill team performed with 1903 Springfields. It was quite a sight to see. Almost perfect execution of drill.<br>
    <br>
    http://www.oycp.com/ Main website for the Oregon Youth Challenge Program<br>
    <br>
    If you click the Photo Galleries link there, and then select the link for Oregon, then the Class 33 link, you'll be at the OYCP photo gallery. At the bottom are group shots for the platoons. Sean is in Platoon 1 (the red flag) and he's in the top row, second in from the right. If you go to the gallery marked Other Pictures, then to page 8, a closeup of Sean is in the upper two left photos by a Blackhawk helicopter. The website will not allow direct linking to pics, so this is the only way to view them.<br>
    <br>
    If you know of a student who could benefit from the National Guard Youth Challenge Program, or would like to help by mentoring a cadet, there is a link on the main OYCP page for the NGYCP's in various states.
     
  2. starshot2b

    starshot2b TS Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    704
    Congrat's and well done to Sean. I can understand your pride in him; that's quite the accomplishment. All the best to him.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.