Dozens of students call Fort Gordon home this week to train at Camp Semaphore

Dozens of students call Fort Gordon home this week to train at Camp Semaphore
150 cadets train at Camp Semaphore on Fort Gordon this week, learning self-confidence, leadership skills and more. (Source: Jasmine Anderson)

FORT GORDON, GA (WFXG) - 150 students from various high schools across Georgia are calling Fort Gordon home this week. They’re attending Camp Semaphore, were the JROTC cadets are taking part in several exercises. Those cadets tell FOX 54 that with every drop of sweat, they’re learning much more than physical skills.

When you’re 65 feet up in the air, inside the Rappel Tower on Fort Gordon, only one thing really matters.

“How you’re going to get down. So you can walk it down, you can jump, you can skip it down or , like you can fall straight down,” explained 16-year-old Hancock Central High School student Jonathan Austin.

On this field, someone’s always watching your back, no matter what. People of all ages climb this tower with fear and walk away with a lesson in trust and teamwork.

This is Jonathan Austin's third summer at Camp Semaphore and he hopes to serve in the National Guard one day.

Inside an auditorium cadets like Caila Lytle-Rivers learn what to do in a water emergency. They call it training to be drown-proof. Split into groups of who can and can’t swim, by the end of the day they’ll know how to use their uniforms as flotation devices.

“When people are scared, they think, okay, I’m not going to do this, I’m going to fail, people are watching me. But, when we all dove in together, we were just like 'let’s take the risk, let’s just do what we do. It made us get a step forward in life and have the possibility of doing it again," said Lucy Craft Laney High School senior Caila Lytle-Rivers.

Caila said she wants to join the Air Force and become a psychologist so she can dive deep into an experience and help people. Just like what her group did Tuesday.

The camp lasts through Friday, June 7.

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