Story by Zach Snyder, case coordinator at Rogue Valley Youth Correctional Facility
Fifteen youth at Rogue Valley Youth Correctional Facility got to participate in a unique experience over Spring Break. They voluntarily signed up to see what it would be like if they went to military-style boot camp.
The event was led by two Rogue Valley staff who are veterans who served in the Army and Air Force. Kim McKandes and Zach Snyder put together a variety of activities for the youth to get a good feel of what they would go through at boot camp.
The event kicked off with the youth getting the opportunity to eat an MRE (Meals Ready to Eat), which is what a soldier would get out in the field. Then they were taught on how to stand in formation at the position of attention and how to properly form up as a group. We then went into marching and learning cadence.
The youth then got the opportunity to test their physical ability by taking a physical fitness test. The test consisted of push-ups, sit-ups and a 1-mile run. The remainder of the event involved squad activities.
The youth learned the importance of working as a team and showed great camaraderie towards each other.
This is the third boot camp for a day hosted at Rogue Valley. Thus far it has been a big hit with youth and staff alike. With many youth requesting another chance to participate, the next event is already in the works. Some youth who participated are also showing interest in a military career.