This weekend, the Class of 2022 will be shipped off to Camp Brady Saunders, along with several seniors, for a full weekend of 'Orientation' to wrap up the initiation process for the year.
Every year, around the end of November, Orientation comes to a close. One must earn his right to pass Orientation, though. The weekend is filled with activities to test their knowledge of the STEDAC and the military skills that they have earned over these couple months. These skills include, but are not limited to: rifle drilling, flag folding, guidon bearing and color guard marching. The seniors can threaten the freshmen into performing well by promising to ‘fail’ them if their performance is not up to snuff. “I’m scared mostly, but also excited,” freshman Victor Aguilar said. “I can’t wait to spend the weekend in the woods.”
On Friday night, after a grueling day of drilling, pushups and running laps, the freshmen load onto a bus, its destination being Camp Brady Saunders, more specifically the 'Cub and Webelos Adventure Camp.' The site is actually a Boy Scout reservation, but BCP will rent it for the weekend. The whole weekend is chock-full of opportunities for the freshmen to familiarize themselves with their fellow Cadets.
All their meals will be served in the mess hall, prepared by BCP's own Nolte McCarthy. He will offer them meatloaf with mac 'n cheese for dinner on Friday night, marinated chicken sandwiches on Saturday afternoon, and steak with baked potatoes for dinner on Saturday evening. He and his dog Abby will also provide the freshmen with moral support during the course of the weekend. "I do it every year," McCarthy chuckled. "I guess I ought to enjoy it."
Orientation camp, as it is often referred to, is not all about suffering and pain, however (although that is a significant part of it). Its main purpose is to bring the freshmen together as a class and to form friendships that will remain in place for years to come. All these young Cadets experience the same hardships, thus giving them a common experience over which to bond. The rest of the Corps of Cadets has also gone through the same, bringing the school together as one. It is, however, a unique experience for each class. "It was tough," sophomore Alex Aboulhosn stated. "But it was pretty neat and interesting."