About five stories high, the rappel tower was daunting to Robin Roberts.
Several deep breaths, a few tears and a lot of cheering from other cadets helped the rising junior at Hephzibah High School overcome her fears while attending Camp Semaphore at Fort Gordon last week.
"I had a very big thing for heights. Now I guess I have a little thing for heights," Robin said after safely touching the ground Friday.
About 125 Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps cadets from high schools including the Academy of Richmond County, Lucy C. Laney, Evans and Glenn Hills, participated in the three-day camp.
"This is the culminating event for the whole year," said Command Sgt. Maj. Noel Cartagena.
Activities during the week included rappelling, water safety, first aid and litter carry training, land navigation, an obstacle course and drill and ceremony.
This was the second time Jamaal Warwell, a rising senior at Richmond Academy, attended the camp.
"You learn what it's like to be in the military," said Jamaal, who plans to join the Air Force after graduation.
Not only does the camp offer insights into the military but it also gives cadets a chance to meet other teens with similar interests, Command Sgt. Maj. Cartagena said.
"I made a whole bunch of friends," said Christian Farrow, a rising senior at Hephzibah High School, who met her boyfriend of almost one year at the camp last year.
For Christian, it was the self-esteem boost that meant the most at this year's camp.
"So many people believe in you, it's amazing," she said.
Reach Charmain Z. Brackett at firstname.lastname@example.org.