ROTC kickoff event sure to be a challenge


Cadets Denna, Scott, Zastany and Reo race to the finish of the third challenge during last year’s ROTC Confidence Course Aug. 27, 2009.

By David Matz

Don’t be surprised to see people climbing across a single rope bridge over the creek in front of Cole Hall this Thursday; it’s just the first challenge in NIU’s ROTC Challenge Course.

From the Chick Evans Field House to the East Lagoon, parts of campus will be turned into an obstacle course for the ROTC’s semester kickoff event, from 2-4 p.m. Teams of five will participate, negotiating three challenges – a rope bridge, a spider web challenge and a tire flip – as part of the course.

“It’s kind of like a welcome event and a team building event,” said Drew Lanier, enrollment and scholarship officer for the ROTC.

Lanier said he expects to have about 100 participants for the Challenge Course, most of them freshmen or new members. The Challenge Course is open to those who aren’t ROTC members, but everyone interested will need to fill out a waiver form before Thursday in the ROTC office, Lanier said.

The Challenge Course is meant to test participants’ speed, endurance and teamwork, Lanier said.

Teams will compete to complete the three challenges in the fastest time, said Battalion Commander Adam Todd.

“It’s a great way to get the juniors and seniors into leadership roles early in the semester,” Todd said.

Todd said the first challenge is a single rope bridge across the creek outside of Cole Hall. All team members have to climb over the creek and safely reach the other side. Once all members cross, the team will run toward the Founders Memorial Library where they will negotiate a wall of entangled ropes resembling a spider web.

The last leg of the course is to run to the East Lagoon and flip a tractor tire for 40 meters.

“This is a great way to start the semester,” Todd said.

This is the second year the ROTC is hosting the Challenge Course. They hope the course continues to be successful so they’ll be able to run this event and more like it in the future.

For more information, visit the ROTC office located in the Chick Evans Field House.