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Weekend will help high school students learn about Corps of Cadets

2018 National Leadership Challenge preview
The semi-annual National Leadership Challenge gives high school students a weekend-long taste of what being in the Corps of Cadets at UNG is like. The next NLC weekend is set for Oct. 26-28.

High school students interested in applying to the Corps of Cadets at the University of North Georgia (UNG) don't have to guess what being in the Corps entails. The semi-annual National Leadership Challenge (NLC) organized by cadets gives prospective cadets a weekend-long taste of the Corps.

The next NLC weekend is set for Oct. 26-28, with high school sophomores, juniors and seniors from across the country descending on UNG's Dahlonega Campus.

Visitors will be split into squads of 10 as they partake in activities at Pine Valley's leadership reaction obstacle courses and the U.S. Army Ranger Camp Frank D. Merrill. They spend the night at the Wahsega 4-H Camp and eat meals in a military chow hall. An academic panel helps them learn even more about the school, which is one of six senior military colleges in the nation.

"It's a good representation of what being a cadet at UNG will be like," said Mike Ivy '95, UNG's director of cadet admissions.

Cadet Kobe Culpepper, a freshman from Oglethorpe, Georgia, majoring in computer science, attended NLC as a junior and senior in high school. Rappelling at Army Ranger Camp Frank D. Merrill and leadership reaction courses at Pine Valley were major selling points for Culpepper.

"Everything about NLC made me want to come here," Culpepper said.

He even chose his major based on a description someone gave of the computer science program at an NLC weekend.

Ivy said the team-building exercises the high school students will participate in are valuable for multiple reasons.

"They learn a lot about themselves on top of learning about what the University of North Georgia offers," Ivy said.

Since current cadets lead the weekend, Ivy said prospective cadets can have their questions answered by people who have experienced the Corps firsthand.

"It's a great opportunity for them to ask questions to cadets," Ivy said. "You can get it from the horse's mouth."

Parents who attend the weekend will receive a briefing on UNG's opportunities and financial aid options at 6 p.m. Friday, Oct. 26, the first day of NLC.

The physical challenges and learning packed into three days make for a grueling weekend.

"We want them to be dog tired by the end of the weekend and learn something," said retired Army Maj. Richard Neikirk, assistant commandant.

Ivy said the weekend benefits those considering UNG and the admissions office.

"It's the best recruiting tool we have," Ivy said. "It speaks for itself."

The NLC weekend is designed for high school sophomores, juniors and seniors on a college preparatory curriculum with at least a 2.5 GPA and costs $115. Registration is available at the National Leadership Challenge Weekend website.

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