Camden Military Academy - Review #4

Camden Military Academy
5

About the Author:

College Enrolled Catawba College
Home Town, State (Country) Burlington, VT
Years Attended Boarding School 1
Activities During Boarding School While i was at CMA, I was part of the more athletic groups than anything. I ran cross country coached by John Heflin, an amazing and dedicated coach that is willing to do whatever it takes to win, bond as a team, and to have fun every second together. I played lacrosse coached by Dan Dupree and was chosen to be captain of the team. This was my main sport that i played before going to CMA. Because of coach Dupree, i learned how to control and focus my skills and point them into scoring goals instead of retaliation penalties. We were 9-3 in the year 2011. We lost the first three games and because im a "Vermonter" (from Vermont), the heat was hard for me to handle at a temperature of 92, 93. But as the season moved on, we won every game after those three because we bonded as a team and learned how to make chemistry with one another because of coach Dupree. Not to mention we won the SCHILL Championship, the first time CMA's lacrosse team has won a championship since its been in the program. I received the coaches award at the end of the season and have a wonderful ring to carry with me everyday, and a memory of looking at the first lacrosse championship banner in the gym, still hanging there today. I was also on CMA's drill team before i had to stop drilling because of my dedication to lacrosse. In everyday formations, i was given the title of a "squad leader" that would be responsible for the entire squad. i have lead my squad through cleaning "fall outs" (mandatory cleaning in the bathroom, hallways, or outside) and through formations in parades and simple everyday marching. Being a "squad leader" is a position that makes anyone realize the importance of structure over a group of people, and the difficulties of leading a group of gentlemen in and out of everyday tasks, such as cleaning, home work, and sports.

Reflections and Advice:

1.) What do you think makes your school unique relative to other boarding schools?
Camden Military Academy was a very different school. Not in the sense that it was strictly a military school, but because it has had a positive affect on me personally. As i chose to go to CMA, it had helped me understand personal achievement, success, and faith in myself to achieve great things. It was a hard but a fun experience that i will always remember because of the memories i have made with my brothers there, and because of the times when i would be pushed to the max with priorities and responsibilities. Camden Military is a great school to be a part of, and to understand the challenges you will face that will make you, your son, our your grandson a better, more successful man. CMA has definitely made my business life more respectable and professional so i am in debt to that school for teaching me the ways of setting a schedule and putting priorities first.
2.) What was the best thing that happened to you in boarding school?
The best thing that happened to me at CMA was getting my phone taken away for the first two weeks of school. This forced me to grow, and learn that i could be independent and still have my families support. Having that phone taken away also let me feel sort of "free" from all that texting and calling i did with my friends. It was nice to kind of get away from all the non stop communication.
3.) What might you have done differently during your boarding school experience?
Nothing. I put myself into as many things as i could to stay busy. I tried my hardest to learn how to march and learn the Cadet Prayer as fast as possible. I strived to earn as many merits as i could so i could earn enough to get a furlough (time to go home). I wanted to be the best and greatest at whatever i did, and with that attitude, i was successful.
4.) What did you like most about your school?
CMA is a school that will take some time getting used to, however, it is an experience of a lifetime that you just will not get anywhere else. Camden Military did me wonders and it can do your son wonders as it did me.
5.) Do you have any final words of wisdom for visiting or incoming students to your school?
Camden Military is a great experience that really cant be understood through words. You actually have to live there and participate in the actions that go on everyday there to understand what it is really like. It is a place to make life long friends, and learn more than you can ever imagine about living life to the fullest potential. It gets you ready for college and gets you prepared for the real world on a basis of manners and setting priorities.

Academics:

1.) Describe the academics at your school - what did you like most about it?
CMA had a really cool twist on academics. Almost ever class, the teacher would be a military vet that would teach their specific subject. The classes are small so it is easy for the students to build a special bond with their teachers. Classes are made specifically to help each student learn and flourish inside and outside of the class room. Courses would gradually get slightly tougher but not so fast that the student would loose track of the class and fall behind. Also the one-on-one help the teacher would provide with any student was a really special moment in my academic career there. CMA also did a very nice job supporting my learning disability, severe dyslexia. I would get extra time on test and quizzes, and also do oral follow ups with the teacher to discuss the material on the test. Classes were also fairly competitive and allowed students to compete against each other academically. This provided a whole new source of competition to students that would have a "fighting" edge. Instead of fighting physically, students would argue in classrooms and learn more because of their involvement and hands on activity provided by the teachers.

Athletics:

1.) Describe the athletics at your school - what did you like most about it?
I definitely flourished in athletics at CMA. My main sport was lacrosse, however, i ran cross country to stay in shape in the off season. Running cross country coached by John Heflin was one of the greatest experiences i have ever had in a sport. Lacrosse was a sport that i have been playing for 5 years now, and i have enjoyed every second of it. With my small amount of native blood, i picked up lacrosse very quickly in Vermont and passed my knowledge to new players in Camden, South Carolina. Playing lacrosse for CMA was an experience i will also never forget. I learned how to control my anger on the field, and use my anger to put more goals in the back of the net. Coached by a honorable man named Dan Dupree, i was given the chance to be a leader. I was voted team captain, and did the best i could to lead my boys to a victory in every game. Starting out the season with 3 strait loses, it was time to encourage my teammates to make lacrosse a part of each player so that we could become a family and start winning games as a team, not a "one-man-show". Winning 8 strait games after this realization, we walked into the SCHILL Championship, fighting against the first team we played that season, whom we lost to by 10 or so points. We ended up winning that Championship game with a lead of 10 points exact, returning the burn that was given onto us. Winning that game, not only put a beautiful ring on my finger and the first and only lacrosse championship banner in the gym, it gave me a memory i could share with my CMA brothers that i will always remember till the day i die. So long story short, cross country and lacrosse allowed me to flourish and become the man i wanted to be with my head held high and my heart stronger than ever, not only on and off the field, but in the classroom as well.

Art, Music, and Theatre:

1.) Describe the arts program at your school - what did you like most about it?
I did not participate in any music or theater arts at Camden Military.

Extracurricular Opportunities:

1.) Describe the extracurriculars offered at your school - what did you like most about it?
While going to school at CMA, i participated on the drill team, preformed the position of a squad leader; earning the rank of a Staff Sergeant, and taking part in a campus survey that only happens every 3 years by the Army to see if we still qualify to be a Military School. We passed with flying colors, however, it was not easy at all. I studied the American flag for 2 months describing everything from the colors to the stars, to how to properly dispose of the flag, and when and where to salute and pay respect to the flag. Because of 8 others and I, we earned the gold and yellow start place on the parade uniform to signify that we still hold the right to be considered a military school.

Dorm Life:

1.) Describe the dorm life in your school - what did you like most about it?
The dorm life was defiantly the hardest thing to get used to. Being at a military school and living in Alpha Company under the order of CSM Brooks, i knew that i would have to have a perfect uniform, with shoes shined and brassed cleaned. Perfect cannot even describe the way your press (your open closet) and your room would have to look. Beds had to be made a certain way and desks have to be set to specifications. I know that this sounds rough and not necessary, but these little mandatory actions make you "clean" up your life and organize your priorities. The rooms are very small, but this signifies that you DO NOT need a big living space to be successful. You use what you've got to grow and succeed. The dorm life at CMA got me prepared for the college life and learn how to become a better man by my actions, not by the place i live in.

Dining:

1.) Describe the dining arrangements at your school.
Dining at a Military school is always going to take some getting use to but guess what, its not impossible. CMA does a very good job with making sure manners are worked on and others go before yourself. The Lord God is also prayed to before every meal. You will have to memorize this prayer to receive merits. The food wont be the greatest, but you will get that at any boarding school you go to. Whats really focused on at CMA dining in the mess hall, is to work on your mannerisms and to put yourself last.

Social and Town Life:

1.) Describe the school's town and surrounding area.
Camden is a very small town, but full of wonderful, loving people. If you have never been to Camden, careful if you blink, you might just pass it! However, for the amount of people that live there, there is a good source of love and religion. Its a very respectable town and has everything you need with fast food, restaurants, Walmart and plenty of gas stations. Camden is a wonderful town that is proud to have Camden Military in its possession.
2.) Describe the social life at your school - what did you like most about it?
The social life at CMA was one of the best feelings and bonding moments i have ever had in my life. Its a strange feeling. You first arrive at CMA and you are a nobody. Your phone is taken away for the first 2 weeks of school which makes you become more independent from home very quickly. You are forced into marching and learning marching techniques. You become a family with the boys around you and learn names faster than you can learn how to march. Being a CMA boy, you almost get to know everyone on campus and enjoy everyone if you decide to love everyone as you love yourself. Arguments do happen, but they always end with a hug or hand shake. The social life of Camden Military Academy is a special thing, its something that you will never experience until you have either gone there, or heard about it through others.

Daily Schedule:

Weekday
6:00 AMWake Up
6:15 AMFall Outs
6:30 AMClean Rooms
7:15 AMMarch to Mess Hall
7:30 AMEat Breakfast
8:00 AMBack to Company to get ready for class
8:30 AMClass Starts
12:00 AMLunch
3:15 PMClasses end
6:00 PMDinner and then Study hall, lights out at 10:00 p.m.
Weekend
7:30 AMOptional Breakfast
8:00 AMFree Time
11:45 AMLunch Formation
12:00 AMLunch
2:00 PMParades (Not every weekend+time changes)
6:15 PMDinner Formation
6:30 PMDinner
7:00 PMFree Time
9:00 PMBe In Barracks
11:00 PMLights Out

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