Wisconsin cadets participate in Illinois Wing’s King of the Rock event
Submitted by Major James Kalemis, Great Lakes Region, Deputy Chief of Staff for Cadet Programs
ILLINOIS – 72 cadets on a dozen teams from three Wings faced off in mental and physical challenges at Rock Cut State Park in the annual competition for the Cadet Major Jacob Rueth Memorial trophy and the honor of being called King of the Rock.
The teams included cadets from eight Illinois squadrons, and one each Ohio and Wisconsin squadron. Representing Wisconsin this year was the 153rd Madison Composite Squadron located in Madison, Wis.
Each year, teams made up of cadets, camp out over the weekend and are expected to be self-sufficient. They compete in 11 challenges and also make a dinner that is judged. As well as receiving points in each event, each team is judged on leadership, customs and courtesies, military bearing, attitude and ability to work as a team.
This year, 21 senior members and 74 cadets made up the teams and judges. Major James Kalemis, Great Lakes Region deputy chief of staff for cadet programs, served as commandant and organizer of the event.
The teams competed in such challenges as building a tent blindfolded, climbing rope while holding a saltine in the teeth, transverse “quicksand” with a cup of water, move a “lizard egg” without touching it, move across a see-saw, high ropes retrieval, weight balance act, balloon trolley through a mine field and water balloon slingshot. While competing in these events, each team had to take care of their “seventh member” which this year an egg.
Separated by seven points out of 840, it was a virtual tie between the top three teams; two from Ill. and one from Ohio.
Taking home the honor of being King of the Rock was team White Noise from the Lake in the Hills Squadron for the second year in a row. The team consisted of Cadet Captian Olsen, Cadet Chief Master Sergeants Bendewald and Wresch, Cadet Senior Master Sergeant Wise, Cadet Technical Sergeant Heckenberg and Cadet Airman 1st Class Van Alstine.
The team was presented with challenge coins and the Rueth trophy, named for a Lewis Composite cadet killed Dec. 1, 2006, when his plane crashed in northwest Minnesota.
“I have been at this event for many years,” Kalemis said, “and this is the largest and best yet. The weather was perfect, a first in a long time! The teams showed incredible teamwork in the diverse challenges and every team left with a better sense of leadership and followership. And most importantly, every team had fun!”
Photos may be found at: http://kalemis.com/cap/kor12/
Video located at: http://youtu.be/_B1I_JxVf1c