Local News

At-Risk Teens Beat the Heat at Fort Bragg

Posted June 25, 1997 12:00 a.m. EDT

— Sixty plus teenagers considered potential drop-outs spent Wednesday learning to think quickly, work in teams, and overcome obstacles, including one added by Mother Nature. The heat index soared Wednesday, fueled by rising temperatures and nasty humidity.

Standing in the shade was uncomfortable enough. The teens were out playing soldier. The Fort Bragg soldiers supervising the camp know the dangers associated with outdoor activity in the heat.

Captain Scott Jonda of the 319th Military Intelligence Battalion says the heat and humidity is an important factor in how the kids run various courses. If a course involves water, the kids are most likely in it. Keeping their body temperatures normal is very important. If they aren't in the water, they are most likely drinking it.

Wednesday wasn't as bad as Tuesday, when the group spent time in the woods learning to read a map. Camper Joseph Dyke remembers how hot it was. He says everyone was sweating, even sitting down. The campers ran out of water, so they spent time in the shade-- just doing the best that they could.

When all is said and done, the campers will most likely remember the week for the experience rather than for the heat. Jeris Squire believes he'll take a way a positive outlook on life, something he's needed.

This is the first time that Communities in Schools and Fort Bragg have paired up for the camp. Organizers say everything has gone well this week, and they want to keep it that way despite the heat. To ensure the camper's safety, medics have been on hand at all activities to help them cope with the elements.