JROTC Wins Four First Place Trophies In Menehune Adventure Challenge


By Taylor Ann Ono
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(Photo courtesy of Timothy Schiller Jr. (11) ) (L to R:) Alexander Lee (12), Timothy Schiller Jr. (11), Srey Nich Kong (9) and Rasa Maximus Melchor (10) practice and compete in teams.

MHS Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) participated in the Menehune Adventure Challenge on the island of Kauai from March 25 to 26.  The competition consisted of many different events, including an obstacle course with a nine foot wall and a physical training test which included a one mile run, team push ups, sit ups, pull ups, land navigation, a six mile run and a canoe race. As a result of their determination and mentality, the JROTC team brought  home four first place trophies.

“I feel really good, we did fairly well considering we actually took home trophies. Just taking home some sort of award was really nice because if you don’t take home something, you kind of feel like you’ve put in all this work for nothing, but seeing that we did, you just get this feeling of accomplishment and joy,” stated Junior Jimmie Paeste, who competed as a member of the male team.

Students had to prepare in a variety of ways to prepare for the competition. “It’s a lot of mental (preparation) because you’re going to be pushing your body through a lot and you’re also going to be pushing your teammates to do well. A lot of it is a physical competition, so it’s been rigorous times, going to the gym. Track and field has really helped with my cardio ability. Just all around you need to be physically fit. If you’re not able to do so, you won’t be able to keep up and you won’t be able to handle what they have to offer,” expressed Paeste. Freshman Maysa Segovia added, “We tried really hard, we made sure that we would know that we did our best. After the competition we all felt really proud of ourselves, like how well we did, the experience we had, what we got to do and where we got to go.”

During the competition, students relied on each other for mental support and created strong bonds that connected them outside of JROTC. “Everyone is so chill with each other. You can be so weird and they just laugh it off. It’s more like a family,” expressed Freshman Srey Nich Kong. “I don’t usually have big (conversations) with other people because I kind of keep to myself, but when I went to JROTC I found so many new friends. They are so kind, they know what to do, they’re good leaders, they’re honest and they’re the kind of (people) you’d want to respect in life.” Paeste added, “Without the people that were around me, (the competition) wouldn’t be too memorable. Winning is going to be something I will remember, but the experiences and people are what really makes an impact.”

Students also had the opportunity to discover new strengths. “It builds character. I want to join the military, so it gives me a little bit more experience as to what I may be interested in. I have made a lot of friends going to all of these events, so (in) doing so I know people from other schools, from outer islands and even other states. It’s really helped me (to) know what’s out there, you learn about other people, where they’re from. You kind of go to different places and experience a bunch of different things so it may not be just physical, it may not be just discipline, but you also experience a different social aspect,” explained Paeste. “It’s taught me a lot of discipline, how to be on time, how to be organized. A lot of the program is really a learning experience and unlike some (classes it) teaches you things that you can take outside and that you can use later on in life.” Kong added, “It teaches you more honesty, how to be a good person individually and how to be a good person to others. Something you (take) with you is how they train you to be a leader and collaborate with other people.”

Some parts of the competition took place on Oahu, hosted by Waianae High School, and included others such as Farrington, Kapaa, Kapolei, Punahou and Waimea. Although this competition is over, students plan on staying physically fit for future competitions by continuing to maintain and build strength.