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By YMSGT Cassidy Carr-Mc Junkins Rocket City AL In JulyI went back to Tennessee for Senior Leadership School for a week.There were upwards of one hundred students this year but only 21 arrived for Senior Leadership School. Sadly we had to say goodbye to an outstanding Young Marine on the second night. This narrowed it down to only 20 Senior Leadership School students and out of all of them I was the only female. I was kind of surprised about being the only female but the staff was helpful and supportive. There were Young Marines there from ten different states and some came from as far away as Ohio. We did many ex- tra activities near the end of the week including going to the pool working with simulators and discharging one of my closest friends after uniform inspections. Though I didnt have any females to discuss what hap- pened in class with during the week I made strong connec- tions with the females from Junior Leadership School while we were in the barracks. I also became close with some of the Young Marine staff who I have also kept in touch with since graduating. Being the only female can be tough but if you have a bond as close to some of the people I do in the Tennessee Reg- iment you can get through it with no problem at all. Se- nior Leadership School has given me opportunities I never thought I would be able to have within the program. It has given me stronger bonds with a lot of people bonds that cannot be broken.As a member of Tennessee RegimentI can honestly say that they really do put on the best academy in the country and I would recommend any Young Marine to go there for leadership school next summer. Hopefully I will be on staff and have the opportunity to meet some of my subordinates in the program. Senior Leadership School An Outstanding Opportunity Outdoor Leadership School Its All About the Teamwork By YMGySgt. Jordan James Westmoreland County PA Arriving at the airport my stomach grumbled and my hands were sweaty. I could have said I wasnt nervousbut I would be lying. This was the first ever National Outdoor Leadership School what did I just get myself into We left the airport and headed to the base camp named Noble View where we would spend time working on skills if we werent on the trail.We were at NOLS from July 19 through August 1st.As the days went onthe eleven of us that showed up slowly molded into one large and crazy family. For exampleevery day before we atea tradition was passed on to name one thing you are thankful for before we were allowed to dig in.Even more days passed and loads of knowl- edge was given to us by our instructors I was definitely thankful for this knowledge. Some of the most important lessons they taught us didnt have much to do with survival but the more importantly life. They told us to really look at the bigger picture pay atten- tion to the little things and learn to enjoy them.This ensured we felt a sense of achievement when we were handed our certificates naming us the first ever National Outdoor Lead- ership School graduates. The roster may have said that eleven Young Marines gradu- ated but that is incorrect in my opinion. I think there was only one graduate one big smelly hiking bug eating pack slinging and incredibly motivated Young Marine graduate who was made up of dif- ferent unique pieces. This big moto- machine would fall apart if even one piece of this group would break off. Some of these pieces could only be found in CaliforniaTennessee or Col- orado. That big machine did things some pieces thought it would never do like eat a large bug start a fire with a bow drill or hike several days on the Appalachian Trail until our feet throbbed and then go even further. Should I duck or Dude aliens are are a few phrases I will always remember. Needless to say we endured a lot and that machines piec- es grew tighter and closer. Well that machine graduated. It learned many things to survive and obtained knowledge to pass on to its units. The time came to disassemble that ma- chine and send those pieces back to their units. It is hard to believe I hiked on the Appalachian Trail or only slept in a bed once for two weeks.These experiences were hard but saying goodbye was so much harder.The eleven of us became really close in those two weeks and formed bonds that will last forever.This experience was truly life-changing. I really hope this school takes place again. It should grow and more Young Marines need to experience this the way our machine did. Eleven Young Marines one team Be a Part of the Young Marines Alumni Association Calling FORMER YMs Where Are YOU Now www.youngmarines.comAlumni Page 12 ESPRIT