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cadet blogs

Sponsor Families!

(The Cadet Experience, Class of 2019) Permanent link
Friedman Photo With the holiday season in full swing and families going to great lengths to be together, I thought I’d give a little insight into a not so well known program that the Academy offers – the Sponsor Family Program.

 

The program provides families from the local area who volunteer to ‘adopt’ cadets. During Swab Summer, all swabs are given the opportunity to sign up for a sponsor family at which time they fill out a survey to determine what kind of family they want. Questions range from whether you like kids, dogs, what your interests are, and captures a bunch of other information so you can be matched up with a good family. Cadets meet their sponsor family at the Academy one night during Swab Summer for dinner and to set up any plans for the Mystic Flag Ceremony or liberty as soon as the summer ends.

 

How much you see your sponsor family is your choice. Some people who live farther away will spend long weekends and Thanksgiving with their sponsor families; some just go over once in a while for a day during the weekend.

 

I have a sponsor family and I love going to their house. I go over to bake, spend time with the family, and just relax away from all the regulations of the Academy.

 

If you have any questions feel free to email me at Jill.M.Friedman@uscga.edu.

 

More about Jill.

 

Last (Hectic) Fall Semester

(Extracurricular Activities and Faith-Based Involvement, Just for Fun, Class of 2018) Permanent link
Eshleman Photo Today marks the last day of finals and the end to my last fall semester at the United States Coast Guard Academy. As I got to the end of this day, I finally realized that classes were done. I think it hit me so late because life has been so hectic this semester. It has made time fly. I have experienced so much in just these past couple of months. Academically, I started my Capstone project to design a medium icebreaker focused on scientific capability with little insight. Right now we are about to submit an executive summary of everything we have worked on throughout the semester. Working with my Capstone design group has been an eye-opening, challenging, and rewarding experience. Thankfully the people on the team are some of my closest friends at the Academy. We’ve had some late work nights, but I believe we have produced quality work and I’m so grateful for a group that is not only made up of my best friends but also works together well because sometimes that is difficult to find.

 

Outside of academics, Glee Club has had its usual busy fall schedule. Tonight we are performing at the Lessons and Carols service at the Chapel, which I think is one of the most beautiful performances we do. The candles, Christmas carols, and lighting of the tree afterward all puts me in the holiday spirit. It is a great way to end the fall semester and get excited for winter leave….which, speaking of, reminds me of how excited I am for the break! I plan to go skiing in Maine and Montana, find some good trail running in Florida, read some fun books, and hang out with family and friends. A whole lot of relaxation to ensue! Then come spring semester, I will be working in Golf leadership to create as best an atmosphere as possible for my company as well as finishing up senior year on a high note. There is a lot to look forward to, and I wish a happy winter holiday to everyone out there!

 

More about Hannah.

 

Lights, Camera, Action: Making a Spirit Video

(Just for Fun, Class of 2019) Permanent link
King Photo Spirit Week was in November and in preparation for our game against our rivals, Merchant Marine, my friends and I decided to make a spirit video. For those who don’t know, a spirit video is a skit or parody to get hyped for a game. Last year, a few of my friends also made a video and we wanted to make another one.

 

The first phase was deciding what to do. We wanted to write and perform a rap. I wrote a draft for the lyrics and my friend Sharayah edited them and set them to music. We then recruited others to join us as actors.

 

The second phase was filming. One Saturday, we started taking video. I did the majority of the taping and Sharayah, Mike, and Mikki did the acting. Together, we did it in front of landmarks such as Yeaton Hall, the library, and the football field. In addition, we showed various parts of cadet life including an inspection.

 

After editing, it was time for presentation. While it isn’t a masterpiece, it was still a lot of fun to do and it was great to be creative. I hope that spirit videos become more common because they’re a lot of fun to make and present.

 

Deb's Spirit Video YouTube Icon 

 

More about Deb.

 

Whale That Was Fun! An Admissions Trip to Sitka, Alaska

(Academics, Class of 2018, Marine and Environmental Sciences) Permanent link
Hosley Photo Well, here I am back at the Coast Guard Academy after an amazing weekend in (you’ll never guess it) SITKA, ALASKA!! How lucky am I, right?! Well, as some of you may know I had an internship this summer through the Marine Sciences department at the Sitka Sound Science Center in Sitka, Alaska, which is one of the most beautiful places on earth in my opinion and naturally I wanted to go back. Lucky for me, our internship invited us back to Sitka for a weekend in November for the annual Whale Festival, or Whalefest. Whalefest is a four-day event full of research symposium presentations, scientific talks, a film night, wildlife tours, concerts, and much more! Of course we simply had to go, but we weren’t sure how we would get the funding so I did a little bit of research. As fate may have it, on the Friday before Whalefest weekend, the University of Alaska Southeast, along with the Science Center, was hosting the National Ocean Science Bowl competition right there in Sitka. This is a competition where high schoolers from all over the state (even the country) come to compete in a trivia style competition with questions solely focused on our ocean environment. I saw this as the perfect opportunity to do a little recruiting so I talked to Admissions and pitched my idea and BAM! It worked, we were going back to Alaska!!

 

I know it seems crazy to fly all the way across the country for the weekend, but it was definitely worth it. We arrived Thursday night just in time to have dinner with all our friends from Sitka. Then, Friday we volunteered at the Science Bowl competition all day! I was wearing my favorite Coast Guard Academy lacrosse shirt (had to represent!) and talking to the high school students about the Academy every chance I got! After that, we got to attend some of the scientific talks and experience Whalefest, which was a blast! On Saturday morning, we donned our very professional Service Dress Blue uniforms and gave an hour long presentation to the community and the high schoolers from the Ocean Bowl about the Academy and the admissions process. Our presentation was a huge success and people were asking lots of great questions (they also loved the Bears backpacks, brochures, and pens we handed out as well). After the presentation we explored the festival some more and soaked up the beautiful (rare) sunshine that was shining down on Sitka that weekend. On Sunday, I went out in a little skiff with some friends and got to see the humpback whales bubble net feeding and breaching out of the water! It was absolutely incredible (and a tiny bit scary) to see these massive and majestic animals so close to us! Overall, the weekend was absolutely amazing and I am beyond lucky to have had the opportunity to go. I will never be able to thank the Coast Guard enough for the opportunities it has given me to learn and to travel and explore and experience the world.

 

More about Cece.

 

Pole Vaulting, Diving, Triathlon, Surfing...Oh My!

(Athletics, Class of 2018) Permanent link
Kimura Photo I don’t play a varsity sport, which is totally acceptable at the Academy; after all I’m going to college to gain a degree in civil engineering, not to be recruited to play sports professionally. My freshman and sophomore year, I did pole vaulting with the indoor and outdoor track and field team, and diving with the swimming and diving team. Being on a team at the Academy helped me leave the Academy for sports games and make many great friendships.

 

Going into my junior year, I decided to focus more on school, which led me to do a sport with a smaller time commitment; triathlon. Triathlon has a short season: from the first day we get back from summer break until early October. It is a club sport at the Academy, which means there are fewer game days and the practices are much more flexible. This season I competed in the Cranberry TriFest in Lakeville, Massachusetts and the Buzzard’s Bay race in Cape Cod. There is a large and growing triathlon community here and an assortment of competition, including students from other colleges.

 

This fall I had a plan to balance triathlon with surfing. I decided to buy a surfboard this year and was fully committed to going out. Although all of the breaks are in Rhode Island, at least half an hour drive away, it’s definitely been worth it. And with warm days dwindling away, I may need to take out my booties and hood soon. Overall though, just being out on the water with some adrenaline flowing and a change of scenery can be really refreshing and therapeutic.

 

Lastly, I decided to do my third marathon this fall. My two best friends, a handful of other cadets, and I drove down to Washington, D.C. to run the Marine Corps Marathon. The first 13 miles were a blast; the signs supporters come up with are hilarious. From “don’t trust a fart after mile 10” to “if only the government ran as well as you,” they kept me smiling for most of the way. During the second 13 miles, I was so thankful for Skye and Vicky who kept me motivated to keep up the pace and finish strong. We finished in 4 hours and 20 minutes, which I am ecstatic about.

 

More about Amy.