CAMP WILDERNESS, Waupaca, WI – August 2016
Seth Hunt (15) spent two nights and three days in the woods with not much more than a knife, magnesium flint, a piece of foil, a couple of fish hooks and some plastic sheeting. He and twelve other teens attended Wilderness Survival Camp in August were they were trained to live off the land and rely on God and the friendship of the guy they were paired off with. To make things worse, they faced a deluge of storms during the first two days of their adventure. “All the Academy camps are tough, but this was especially hard… making fires in the rain and building shelters in the storms” was Seth’s cheerful response when asked how well the camp went.
But Seth is no stranger to hard experiences. This tall, rugged teen lives on a farm where he gets up early to get his chores done before school, including the added responsibility of taking care of his own milk cows! When you meet him you quickly realize this is a well-grounded young man with a servant’s heart and a tremendous work ethic, which exemplifies the elite group of Rangers who attend the Junior Leadership Training Academy.
Young men eleven and older join the Academy to complete five advanced leadership and adventure camps, earning the coveted Academy Saber as they are inducted into the Ranger Elite. It’s not an easy task, and it takes several years to accomplish. Seth tells us his Commander, Stewart Miller encouraged him to attend the Academy. With a determined look he added: “I knew I wanted my Saber when I saw the Elite graduates welcoming the new recruits at the camp gate when I was registering for JTC. Commander Stewart has three sons with Sabers, so it seemed fun to try”.
Seth is in good company. On April 1, 2017 he will join Jonathan Worm, Evan Kaboskey, Dominic Kilde, David Nemetz, Jaron Lacey, Rudi McConnohie, Nikolas Hufen, and Samuel Martinez on stage at the annual Ranger Banquet as they receive their Academy Saber in front of family, Commanders and friends across the district.
Thinking back on his experiences, Seth said “Academy really shows you what you’re made of. It teaches you to work with others and leads to lifelong friendships. It was fun to get to know the guys and we all work well together. The funnest thing was for me to see my friends year after year and to build skills I didn’t know existed”. Seth plans to return to the Academy to serve as an Elite Graduate and wants to complete Senior Guide training.
Click here for more information on the Junior Leadership Training Academy.