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cadet blogs

Community Service Opportunities

(Extracurricular Activities and Faith-Based Involvement, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Sandri Photo Cadets are required to participate in at least six community service hours each semester. There are many service opportunities, and lots of people choose to go above and beyond the requirement. I enjoy doing CS events because they are a great way to get off campus and interact in a normal way with the community surrounding the Academy.

 

During one of the first weeks of school, a group of us volunteered to do odd jobs at a food festival in Mystic, which is a small and charming town surrounding a seaport, and is where the Mystic Flag Ceremony is held during Swab Summer. The festival was a lot of fun, and I got to talk to several of the civilian volunteers. A couple months later, I signed up to work at the Mystic Pirate Festival, and some of the same volunteers were there. They recognized that we were from the Coast Guard, and it was nice to catch up with those community members.

 

I also happen to be in a community-service oriented division this semester. The entire corps of cadets is divided into eight companies, which each contain three departments. Each department is organized into several divisions, each of which has a specific job to do within the corps. A division is made up of one or two cadets of each rank. My division is the community service liaison division, so we act as community service representatives for our company and help Hotel Company, whose company duty it is to run community service.

 

This semester, we organized two CS events for Foxtrot Company, which turned out really well! One was an opportunity to volunteer as a company at Fields of Fire, an outdoor haunted maze. We dressed up as zombies to scare people, and it was a blast. The second event was a beach clean-up in Rhode Island. Together we collected 170 lbs. of trash!

 

More about Eva.

 

From California to New York…

(Choosing the Coast Guard Academy, Extracurricular Activities and Faith-Based Involvement, Just for Fun, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Culp Photo I remember when I was applying to the Coast Guard Academy, I had resigned myself to one (false!) idea – it’s the U.S. Coast Guard, so I’m not going to get to travel much farther than the states. Being someone with a huge travel bug (I had been to six other countries by the time I enrolled), you can imagine how discouraging that thought was. Fortunately, I dealt with my misconceptions, reported in, and had my preconceived notions blown completely out of the water. Not only have I had the chance to go international with the Coast Guard, I’ve been to states I had never seen, and taken day trips to cities that used to require weeks of planning!

 

Back in Nebraska, going to New York City was an exotic vacation spot; somewhere on that strange land they call the “East Coast.” That being said, I’ve now been there seven times, sometimes just for a day! The other popular destination is Boston – while I’ve only been there once, it seems like every other weekend there’s a flock of cadets headed that way! One can also check out Providence and Hartford for a pleasant day trip (not as popular destinations, however, as they’re still within the 75-mile zone in which underclass are prohibited from wearing civilian attire).

 

That’s all just on weekends during the school year – imagine where we go when we have more time! Over the summer, my classmates and I visited Canada and the Caribbean on the Tall Ship Eagle (including another stop in New York City on my phase – go figure), and some of us went to such places as Guam, Hawaii, Alaska (my first time there!), and Mexico! Over leave periods there are often international trips available. Some cadets save up their monthly paychecks and go on excursions to Cancun, Puerto Rico, Honduras, and other such places during their winter, spring, and summer leave periods. The Command Religious Program offers a trip during spring breaks – last year, they went to Israel, and this year will be going to Ireland. As much as I would love to join them, I haven’t been able to go on those trips because Glee Club does its own events during that time (by the way, if you really want to go places, join Glee – it’s responsible for half of my New York trips, and for taking me to Maine and California also for the first time!). Last year we enjoyed a few days in Florida, but even all that sunshine can’t trump the excitement I feel for this year’s spring voyage – Germany! Even better is the fact that I get to travel with my dad on that trip; turns out everyone can benefit from Coast Guard travel!

 

So, technically, the Coast Guard is in the Department of Homeland Security… but I’ll tell you what, that homeland is a whole lot more expansive than you might imagine.

 

More about Abby.

 

It Has Been a Long Time…

(Athletics, Extracurricular Activities and Faith-Based Involvement, Class of 2016) Permanent link
Belanger Photo So it has been a very, very long time since I have written something and a lot of things have changed. First of all, getting the privileges of a second class has probably been the biggest reward yet. I can finally wear civilian clothes and blend in with the citizens of New London. I also started playing rugby for the Academy. The guys on the team are awesome, and it may be considered a very rough sport, but being on the pitch makes all of the Academy stress disappear. We have had a decent season and I am looking forward for the spring season as well. Becoming a second class also means that you fully integrate into your major. Besides one non-major specific class next semester, all of my classes either pertain to the Government major or life in the fleet. I have never been so happy being done with mathematics! My writing has improved and I love writing about the current events in the world. Remember if anyone has any questions let me know, and if you receive the bulletin check out my articles in the December issue!

 

Got a question? Email me Nathan.D.Belanger@uscga.edu!

 

More about Nathan.

 

Good-Bye to a Beautiful Woman

(Extracurricular Activities and Faith-Based Involvement, Class of 2017) Permanent link
Culp Photo I might have mentioned before that, whenever I’m asked what the best part about the Academy is, my response is automatically the people here. What I want to impress upon all my blog readers, however, is that by “people,” I don’t just mean cadets or active duty Coast Guardsmen. I’ve certainly been touched by and learned much from those people, but there are also people who don’t work inside the Academy or live in the barracks who have changed my life. As we speak, one of the Officer’s Christian Fellowship field leaders, Betsy Teuton, lays in Yale Hospital waiting for the Lord to call her to His Kingdom.

 

Never have I met such a wonderful woman, such a good-hearted person. She always had love to spare, for her cadets and for anybody who walked in and out of her life. Betsy has been fighting cancer for the past few years, with a strength and faith I’ve never seen in anyone else. She’s an inspiration, that’s for sure. If she can face that battle with the courage she has, I know any cadet can get through the challenges of Coast Guard life. Her selflessness is amazing; her spirit and positivity are contagious; and her peace, her faith even as we all say good-bye soars above all fear and sadness.

 

You can only begin to realize how many lives she changed when cadets are arriving in 15-passenger vans and booking train tickets back to New London just to say their farewells. She was like a mother to them, just like she was and still is to me. We remember Betsy as she crosses the bar, and I personally give God thanks and praise for her presence in my life and in the life of the Coast Guard Academy. Good-bye to a beautiful, God-filled woman – she will be missed, but celebrated in our lives from here on out.

 

More about Abby.

 

Getting Involved is Fair-ly Easy (Cadet Activities Fair)

(Extracurricular Activities and Faith-Based Involvement, Just for Fun, Class of 2015) Permanent link
Sherman Photo We have many clubs and activities here at the Coast Guard Academy. And we have a fun way to find out what extracurricular options are available each year: the Cadet Activities Fair! It’s on the Thursday of the first week of school (sorry for the delay…I had some technical difficulties while editing). This video is a fun exposition of that event. Hear about anything you’re interested in?

*Special thanks to artist Har Megiddo for the use of his music in this video.

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More about Justin.