Despite some of the changes in the new school year, the Lassen High School Cadet Corps is doing the most it can.
This year, there are 27 cadets in the program and, according to Commandant of Cadets and English teacher Rachel Vincent, Lassen High is the only California Cadet Corps chapter currently allowed to meet in person throughout the state.
The local Cadet Corps chapter is the 7th Battalion in the 6th Brigade, and the program helps prepare ninth- through 12th-grade students for success in college and the work force.
“We are so lucky,” said Vincent. “We’re doing as much as we can within the lines of our COVID restrictions.”
Although many in-person competitions are not happening so far this year, Vincent said the Cadets are partaking in Virtual X-treme Team Challenge events, which includes competitions like a virtual escape room, the building of a survival structure and hiking. There are also online leadership workshops.
However, the cadets are still dedicated to serving the community in person: You might have seen them at the annual 9/11 Ceremony in front of the Susanville Fire Department, or maybe when they helped clean up Hobo Camp and the Bizz Johnson Trail with Lassen Land and Trails Trust. You may even see them about town when they set up flags at the Veteran’s Cemetery, and if there’s a Veterans Day Parade this year, Vincent said, the cadets will be there, although decked out in patriotic colors instead of their classic uniform — at least until the threat of social distanced learning is past. The Cadet Corps is also still available for Color Guard services.
This year is definitely busy, S5 Katrina Davenport said.
Along with their competitions and acts of service, the cadets are participating in a Back the Blue squad challenge, where they are battling each other to build boxes as gifts for local law enforcement officers.
They are even continuing to hold food drives to stock the chapter’s Lending Locker at Lassen High School, which provides help for students.
Cadet Corps is not military specific, Vincent said. The program is essentially a leadership academy, preparing students for future positions after high school, with many performing jobs adults do themselves. This year, they even had about 10 cadets advance in rank, gaining more leadership roles.
“It’s pretty impressive,” Vincent added. “It’s an exciting year to be a cadet.”