Last weekend we traveled to Camp Floyd, just south of Seguin, TX for what we hope was the first of other Emergency Services Weekends there. We took a few cadets from each grade level who were at the top of the squadron Merit of Order List (MOL).
It was a new adventure full of fun, and excitement! Cadets got a chance to learn fundamentals of emergency services skills. We arrived at the property with the sun quickly falling and found ourselves with a challenge of finding a sleeping location and setting up camp in complete darkness. Let alone it being the first time majority of the cadets tried to set up a tent, but to have it done in complete darkness made this challenge almost unworldly. Teamwork and communication had to be at it its highest effectiveness to get the job done, but like Sheldon Cadet Squadron is known for, we meet the challenge. The tents had a main sleeping section with two side sections connected to it. We found it more space efficient to put all of our gear into one of the side sections and use the main sections and other side section to sleep in. We slept about 2-3 cadets in the side section and 4-5 in the main section. There was a second male tent set up for the remainder of the males.
The nights were cold with Friday night’s low of a warm 34°, and Saturday night’s low of 29°, you found yourself often snuggling with your battle buddy’s feet to keep warm. None the less after a few minutes within our sleeping bags, and just the noise of chattering teeth, we were able to drift into a nice sleep.
Air Force personnel explained to us the different uses of the vehicles their engineering team uses and showed us some key elements of how they were used. The Humvee was a favorite of mine. We learned where each person sat within the vehicle and learned the responsibility and roles each played in the Humvee. Not only did they teach us about the vehicle but they let us get in. We were able to take turns getting in the driver seat , and the gunner seats where you sit harnessed in the hatch at the top of the vehicle. Already excited about our Humvee experience, once we were properly harnessed in, they took us on rides in the Humvee around the property. We received a chance that a lot of people in the Air Force, let alone the world get to do and experience. After learning how a Humvee operates in person, the day was full of many more firsts for our cadets. For lunch they ate MREs (Meals Ready to Eat), in the afternoon we participated in a land navigation course, practiced our compass skills followed by fishing. For many of the cadets this was their first time to fish, but we all had a great time learning about alternative methods to fish and alternative bait (bread and hot dogs) and all tried to catch us a bass or catfish.
After fishing we had bar-b-q for dinner followed by grilled banana boats and S’mores. Cadets then broke back up in to their teams to come up with an act for the talent show and performed for each other and the senior members. Cadets then traveled through the field , over to the Air Force area and learned about night vision goggles. All cadets were able to view through them and it was another new learning experience for all. Sunday morning was extremely cold, but we awoke, broke up camp (it was much easier to pack up in the light of day) and then had eggs and biscuits for breakfast. Our last activity was to perform a grid search of the areas we had been in to assure we left no trash behind. Then we loaded up in to the bus and head back home to Houston.
As the squadron cadet commander this was a new experience for me too and a one I greatly enjoyed. Many of the cadets who participated are our future squadron leaders and it was a great way for me to get to know them outside of Camp Currys.
~ By C/Maj Tristan Edwards, CAP
SWR-TX-802 Squadron Commander