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National Leadership Challenge set for April 6-8

National Leadership Challenge set for April 6-8
The semiannual National Leadership Challenge gives high school students a chance to learn about UNG and the Corps of Cadets while experiencing a weekend of team-building and problem solving activities, including rappelling, rope courses and obstacle courses.

Members of the University of North Georgia's (UNG) Corps of Cadets will serve as mentors to more than 200 high school students during the semiannual National Leadership Challenge (NLC) weekend held April 6-8.

As a cadet admissions officer and a Corps of Cadets graduate, Richard Henry recruits high school students throughout Georgia and the nation to join the NLC experience.  

"The National Leadership Challenge is the single biggest recruiting event we have and a great way to introduce students to the Corps of Cadets," Henry said. "For a lot of the cadets, NLC is the main reason they chose to come to UNG."

During NLC, high school students learn about the Corps of Cadets and experience team-building and problem-solving activities, including rappelling, ropes courses and obstacle courses. These activities are held at UNG's Pine Valley facility and Camp Frank D. Merrill, which is 10 miles from UNG’s Dahlonega Campus, and home to the 5th Ranger Training Battalion and the mountain phase of the U.S. Army Ranger school. Cadets provide logistical support and mentor students during the weekend's activities.

"A lot of the high school students haven't had the opportunity to rappel down a 60-foot rock face," Henry said. "They get to do that, and much more over the course of the weekend. NLC is a great time, whether students end up joining the Corps of Cadets or not."

NLC participants spend two nights in rustic 16-person cabins at Camp Wahsega, the 4-H camp owned and operated by the University System of Georgia, located 1 mile from Camp Merrill.

"NLC allows the high school students to interact with current Cadets, ask them questions, and learn about life in the Corps and at UNG," Henry said.

Henry said one of the highlights of the weekend is the Legacy of Gold ceremony held at twilight Friday on the Gen. William J. “Lipp” Livsey Drill Field. Corps of Cadet members stand along the berm lining the field, with the students on the drill field. They are told the history of the Corps and UNG. Spotlights are shined on each building and the history and purpose of each is explained. The ceremony begins with the firing of the Corps of Cadets' cannon.

"It makes quite an impression on the students," Henry said.

The NLC is designed for high school sophomores, junior and seniors on a college preparatory curriculum with at least a 2.8 GPA and costs $115. The application deadline is April 2. For more information on the National Leadership Challenge Weekend, visit the webpage.

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