Un­der con­struc­tion

Fit­ness runs its course with mil­i­tary ob­sta­cles

The Southern Berks News - - FRONT PAGE - By Michilea Pat­ter­son mpat­ter­son@21st-cen­tu­ry­media.com @MichileaP on Twit­ter

UNION TWP. >> About 40 stu­dent vol­un­teers rose to the chal­lenge this week when they built a mil­i­tary ob­sta­cle course be­hind Daniel Boone Area High School.

The course has eight ob­sta­cles in­clud­ing mon­key bars, a low crawl area and a tire run. Ju­nior Re­serve Of­fi­cer Train­ing Corps (JROTC) cadets, Boy Scouts from lo­cal troops and other vol­un­teers sawed, ham­mered and more on Wed­nes­day and Thurs­day to com­plete the con­struc­tion of the ac­tiv­ity sta­tion.

The high school’s JROTC Com­man­der Shan­non Helzer said fit­ness is a big part of the mil­i­tary train­ing they do within the pro­gram. Area JROTC pro­grams in ad­di­tion to the one at Daniel Boone Area High School will use the ob­sta­cles, he said. Helzer also said the course is avail­able to other com­mu­nity mem­bers.

“We are try­ing to en­cour­age not only the cadets but also the other stu­dents in the Daniel Boone School District as well as the com­mu­nity mem­bers to pur­sue phys­i­cal fit­ness,” he said.

JROTC cadet and high school se­nior Wil­liam Mill­man, 17, said com­mu­nity ser­vice is a big part of JROTC so he was ex­cited to be part of a con­struc­tion project that would en­cour­age the fit­ness of area res­i­dents. He said they wanted the course to be ac­ces­si­ble to ev­ery­one.

JROTC 1st Sar­gent Liam Car­men, 17, said the ob­sta­cle course will help mem­bers of the pro­gram train and see what they’re ca­pa­ble of phys­i­cally. Car­men is also in the Penn­syl­va­nia Na­tional Guard. He said the ob­sta­cles at the high school re­sem­ble ones at a lo­cal Na­tional Guard train­ing cen­ter. He is look­ing forward to us­ing the weaver ob­sta­cle which is a set of bars that peo­ple weave in and out of by mov­ing on their side.

Helzer said an­other ben­e­fit of build­ing the mil­i­tary course was that it gave stu­dents an op­por­tu­nity to prac­tice con­struc­tion skills. He said as school bud­gets de­crease, classes like shop are be-

ing cut or down­sized. Helzer said many of the 40 stu­dent vol­un­teers weren’t nec­es­sar­ily part of JROTC but wanted to learn more about build­ing.

Taren Rickard is a se­nior at the high school and works at The Home De­pot of Ex­eter. He said run­ning a shop class is pretty ex­pen­sive which makes it dif­fi­cult when fund­ing is cut for such classes. Rickard said he’s happy to have an op­por­tu­nity such as the con­struc­tion of the mil­i­tary course in or­der to gain ex­pe­ri­ence.

Helzer said ma­te­ri­als for the course were pur­chased with a $2,500 grant from the Pottstown Area Health & Well­ness Foun­da­tion and $2,000 from the Birdsboro Amer­i­can Le­gion Post 626.

The ac­tiv­ity sta­tion was named the “Doyle/Lykens Ob­sta­cle and Con­fi­dence Course” af­ter the high school health teacher Cynthia Lykens and 2007 grad­u­ate T.J. Doyle who is now bat­tling can­cer. The course will be ded­i­cated to Lykens and Doyle dur­ing a com­mis­sion­ing cer­e­mony later this month.

Dig­i­tal First Me­dia is

PHO­TOS BY MICHILEA PAT­TER­SON — DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

en­gaged in a long-term ef­fort, Fit for Life, de­signed to pro­mote healthy liv­ing. In ad­di­tion to ar­ti­cles in the news­pa­per and on our web­site, Fit for Life fea­tures a blog with recipes, health tips such as get­ting fit with­out break­ing the bank and other tools all avail­able free on­line. Visit the web­site at pottsmer­c­fit4life.com, like us on Face­book at www. face­book.com/Mer­cFit4Life and fol­low our ef­forts on Twit­ter @Mer­cFit4Life.

Michilea Pat­ter­son is the Fit for Life re­porter and is funded in part by the Pottstown Area Health & Well­ness Foun­da­tion.

MICHILEA PAT­TER­SON — DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

JROTC cadets and other vol­un­teers build a mon­key bars sta­tion as part of a mil­i­tary ob­sta­cle course be­hind the Daniel Boone Area High School on Thurs­day, May 4. The fit­ness ob­sta­cles will be avail­able for com­mu­nity use.

From left to right, Daniel Boone Area High School JROTC cadets Korri Brown, 16, and Erika Ne­gron, 16, share a laugh while they help build a mil­i­tary style ob­sta­cle course be­hind the school’s foot­ball sta­dium on Thurs­day, May 4.

Stu­dents help build a mil­i­tary ob­sta­cle called a weaver be­hind the Daniel Boone Area High School foot­ball sta­dium on Thurs­day, May 4. The course has eight dif­fer­ent ob­sta­cles that stu­dents and the com­mu­nity are al­lowed to use.

JROTC cadets and other stu­dent vol­un­teers help build a mil­i­tary style ob­sta­cle course be­hind the Daniel Boone Area High School on Thurs­day, May 4. The course will have eight ob­sta­cles and be open to the com­mu­nity.

From left to right, JROTC cadets Wil­liam Mill­man, 17, and Liam Car­men, 17, carry a wood beam as they help build a mil­i­tary ob­sta­cle course be­hind the Daniel Boone Area High School on Thurs­day, May 4.

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