Newton- Conover JROTC planning spring trip

By: 
BRANDY TEMPLETON
Staff Writer

Newton- Conover’s Navy JROTC is planning a spring break trip to Norfolk, Virginia in April. Around 30 cadets are hoping to be included.
Senior Naval Science Instructor, Kevin Nash, says they need to raise more money for the trip.
“We’ve only raised around $2,000 of the $6,000 we need,” he said.
For fundraising, the JROTC has had car washes and participated in an email fundraiser.
Because they only ask for donations, the students are having a hard time meeting their goal.
“Some people only give a couple of dollars, while others give generously,” Nash said.
He said his group is primarily self-funded and doesn’t get much help from the state or school.
“We count on generous donations,” Nash said.
Nash said the donations are important because the trip is educational and also fun.
It will highlight areas the cadets learn about while in the Naval Science class.
Nash explains the class as a combination of history, Naval history, science, oceanography, and leadership, with most of the subject matters will be covered on the Virginia trip.
To get to Virginia, the JROTC will take an activity bus and stay on an Army base for four days after.

“We plan to visit several Naval stations and a Coast Guard station,” he said.

Nash said trips like these are good for the cadets because it keeps them busy.

“We try to do one trip every year,” Nash said. “The cadets who go usually show interest and actively participate in class.”

Last year, the JROTC went to Mayport, Florida and saw a Coast Guard Cutter, Navy ships, and also ran a 5K.

Nash wants to continue the trips and hopes to get even more students participating.

The JROTC is a year-round program, but cadets can choose to only take it for a semester.

Nash has served as a JROTC instructor since 2014 after retiring from the Coast Guard.

After being at St. Stephens High School for three years, he chose to teach at Newton – Conover.

He, along with program instructor, Dan Trainor, teach 88 of the school’s students.

“It averages about 40 a semester,” he said. “We have a big group of freshman.”

is so committed, that he even offers a summer camp for three weeks in the summer. Nash said that it’s good to keep kids active so they won’t get in trouble.

While at camp, the kids go “from daylight to sunset,” Nash said. “We’re on the go.”

A couple of the activities the cadets participate in are swimming and sailing.

“We go to Lake James and Lake Norman State Park,” Nash said.

They also enjoy the Hickory Aviation Museum and going on day hikes.

“We keep kids really busy,” he said. “That’s how you keep them out of trouble.”

The group is planning for more car washes in the spring, but is also hoping members of the community will reach out and help too.

For more information on how you can help Newton - Conover’s JROTC program, contact the school at (828) 465-0920

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