Local ROTC high school students get a taste of college campus life

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Recently, a group of local ROTC students got a chance to see what college life was like, after participating in a week-long camp at the University of Houston. Many of them say it was a real eye opener.

With temperatures well into the 90s, cadets from across the Houston area have been giving it their all.

"We wake up in the morning and do PT, and then it's a mile run," said Woodlands High School student Tyler Clough.

Clough is one of about 300 cadets participating in this week-long camp. They're here from 19 different Houston area high schools, with many goals in mind.

"They come together over the summer to help teach their cadets leadership skills, so that in the next coming year, they can train better leaders for their unit, and bring back stuff that they learn to help their course get better and better as they develop," said Lieutenant Colonel Tim Lambert.

The cadets are getting a treat on their final day with a boot camp style obstacle course.

"It's a tough thing, but when they accomplish one of the obstacles, it's huge for them," Lambert explained. "They build the confidence, the other kids are motivating them. They're learning, they're leading."

Oak Ridge High School student Claire Stewart is hoping to improve on her leadership skills.

"When you run a camp with 300 cadets, it's very hard to do something by yourself, so working as a team is a lesson that I've learned," said Stewart. "I plan to do a ROTC (program) in college, and then go into the military after that and do nursing."

Jonathan Smith, 17, also has plans to serve.

"I plan on attending the Air Force Academy, so I can work at NASA to be an experimental test pilot," said Smith.

But not all of the students here plan on going into the military. It's a chance for them to learn about leadership, team work, along with working toward goals they might have thought weren't possible.

Lieutenant Colonel Catie Hague says it's also a great opportunity for her students.

"Our ROTC cadets who are actually college students, they provide the training for the high school students who are going through the camp," said Hague. "So this is a leadership opportunity for my cadets that are getting ready to commission in the Air Force as officers."

For more information about the ROTC program, visit their website.

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