Rachel Orphanoudakis, a NJROTC cadet at South Effingham High School, attended the U.S. Air Force Honors Camp hosted by the University of New Mexico and the U.S. Air Force in Albuquerque, N.M. This program invites only 58 high school students from across the country annually, and the invitees are in the top 1 percent of the students in the JROTC program.
The five days of camp involved outdoor leadership and team-building activities, airplane safety briefs, flying a Civil Air Patrol airplane, building a rocket car and numerous tours on Kirtland Air Force Base. The program members also attended a dinner with a top Air Force commander.
The camp may have been sponsored by the Air Force but it brought every branch together that week and gave opportunities that may not have happened any other way.
The dry air and wind storms were not the best things out there, but the great instructors and the large amount of information learned made the trip memorable.