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 photo of Stephanie Raper

Stephanie Raper
In the Loop Editor

               

Spring Break NNDCC Activities 2018


Escaping on a spring break trip is the dream of many high school and college students each year. The Grenada High School Navy National Defense Cadet Corp fulfilled that dream again this year with an action-packed spring break adventure. The trip, designed to educate and entertain, included museums, naval bases, and sporting events. The journey culminated with members of the NNDCC's color guard presenting the national colors at a professional basketball game in New Orleans.

The first leg of the cadet's trek landed at the Gulfport Seabee Base in Gulfport, Mississippi, home of naval construction schools and base tours. The cadets visited different construction classes where they spoke with instructors and students who were constructing a house from ground zero. The cadets learned about plumbing and electrical requirements for a home as well as how to make a few common repairs. They even had a chance to work with a welding simulator! Following the Seabee base tour, the group explored different types of boats used by the Coast Guard to perform various tasks around Gulfport. Touring the Coast Guard boats offered the cadets their first opportunity to earn a Sea Cruise ribbon. The day ended with a trip to the mall, pizza on the beach, and lights out at the National Guard Barracks.

Cadets awoke to a new adventure at the Infinity Science Center in Gulfport. Students tackled a Sea Perch challenge workshop where they designed and built a remotely operated floating vehicle. While at this site, cadets viewed NASA space shuttles and space suits and were able to get a glimpse of the inside of the International Space Station. Students also toured the Stennis Naval Base. At the base, cadets explored NASA rocket testing platforms and sites and were able to question NASA personnel about their jobs and the mechanics of the testing platforms.

After concluding the military portion of the trip, the group descended on the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans for a New Orleans Pelicans basketball game. Members of the GHS NNDCC Color Guard, who performed for the crowd during the game, were allowed into the center prior to the game to practice their drills. After practice, the color guard members attended pre-game practice sessions for both basketball teams playing that night. After the cadets performed on court, they joined their fellow NNDCC members to watch the remainder of the game. Afterwards, the group enjoyed a photo session with the Pelican cheerleaders.

The last leg of the journey took the cadets to Camp Shelby National Guard Base in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, where they enjoyed a tour of the museum featuring famous Mississippi veterans that served in the armed forces. The museum also showcases memorabilia from the Civil War, World War II, the Spanish-American War, and the Vietnam Conflict. Tanks, helicopters, planes, and other military vehicles are on display at the museum and provided photo ops and educational experiences for the students. The museum also houses a tribute to Mississippians who have been awarded the Medal of Honor.

After spring break, a group of senior and junior NNDCC members traveled to Keesler Air Force Base in Gulfport to fly on an Air Force C-130 aircraft flown by the Hurricane Hunters. Prior to the flight, cadets met with the crew and learned more about the jobs of the Hurricane Hunters through actual flight videos and personal interaction with the crew members. After the briefing, cadets boarded the plane and took off. During the flight, students were able to move about the plane, looking out windows and examining radar and other equipment used to track and process weather.

Spring Trip Participants 2018
NNDCC cadets stay on the move, visiting military bases, performing at events around Mississippi, and attending competitions. They also put in many hours of community service in and around our community. Trips taken by the group are funded by the cadets themselves as well as funds raised by fundraisers throughout the year. One of the group's biggest fundraisers is the sale of discount cards that can be used in and around Grenada. Current cards, that expire in May 2018 are now on sale for half price ($5.00). New cards will be available soon for purchase. GHS NNDCC would like to thank their sponsors, Walmart, Southern Flight HRC, R&S Cleaners, Booster Club, McAllister's, No Way Jose, La Cabana, and Applebee's for their support this year. Without their help, the group would not be able to accomplish so many goals.