Day of Challenges Set for Saturday
by Kevin Hodur, creative writer
Michigan Tech will be hosting its annual Day of Challenges for 5th through 12th grade students on Saturday, Feb. 23, sponsored by the Michigan Veterans of Foreign Wars and the Michigan Tech Army and Air Force ROTC programs. The event focuses on teamwork and mental and physical challenges, with events such as an obstacle course, a leadership reaction course and tests of swimming ability, all the while encouraging participants to learn and have fun.
This year’s Day of Challenges includes two divisions: a senior division for high school students and a junior division for grades 5-8. In addition to the activities themselves, the event also showcases Michigan Tech. “For Army ROTC and Michigan Tech, it is an opportunity to showcase Tech and actual Tech students (cadets with many academic backgrounds) to high school students well before they begin to form strong opinions on college choices,” says Lieutenant Colonel James Spence, a professor of military science at Tech.
Hilary Drake, the ROTC student organizer for last year’s event, remarked on the Day of Challenges’ legacy. “The Day of Challenges has been around for decades, and it is really amazing when your current participants have parents that once enjoyed the event here at Michigan Tech,” she said.
This year’s student organizer, Cadet Caleb Bryant, noted that Day of Challenges is meant to foster the positive elements in students’ lives by reinforcing “the care and education that their parents and teachers provide. It will help them grow into adaptive, creative leaders who will actively contribute to our communities and our nation.”
For Drake, the event is a chance “to give back to the community in a safe and positive environment. The participants really look up to the cadets, and that is a really cool thing to see.”
Spence values that collaboration with the community as well, noting that Day of Challenges is “totally funded by the regional Veterans of Foreign Wars chapters and staffed by Army and some Air Force ROTC Cadets, providing the competitor students a key exposure to Tech’s campus and Tech students.”