Daily Point of Light # 2362 Feb 21, 2003

The Chapin South Carolina NJROTC unit is a service-based, cadet-led organization. The cadets are dedicated to the spirit of leadership, service and character. They truly seek to make a difference in its community, state and nation while providing high school students with service-learning environment based upon character development. The cadet-run Chapin NJROTC has created a productive environment that exemplifies their motto, “Where character and service meet.”

The unit puts forth countless hours of community service averaging more than 5,000 documented hours per year. The cadets participate in Habitat for Humanity, Harvest Hope Food Bank, coat collection for needy families, and they volunteer at the local retirement at an after-school program for underprivileged children as well as at retirement homes. During the Christmas season, the cadets collect toys for children in local hospitals, shoes for the homeless and recruit participants for blood drives.

They were awarded the Navy League’s Most Outstanding Unit in 1999 as well as 2002. This is a national recognition and a very prestigious honor as they went up against 535 other units in the nation. Chapin was also national runner-up in 2000 and 2001. To earn these awards, the unit provides high school students with a character education program that produces patriotic citizens. The students are focused on positive activities and stay away from negative temptations. In 2001, the school was awarded the National Service Learning Award with a focus on NJROTC service.

Chapin NJROTC has developed a twelve-month, six day a week program with many after school team activities for various interests. These include: an academic team, an award-winning drill team, an air rifle team, a state champion orienteering team and Chapin Navy News newspaper staff, where they won the best NJROTC newspaper in the nation. The cadet’s work also garnered them an excellence in writing award. Other after school activities also include a web-page team, aviation team, technology team, the nation’s largest silent drill team, sailing team, glee club and a rocket team that will be competing in the national rocket challenge.

The unit has a weekend program that provides cadets with the opportunity to travel to educational places. They have been to Washington DC, NAS Norfolk, NAS Jacksonville, MCB Quantico and the United States Naval Academy. The cadets have also established a student-mentoring program, the Old Salt Program, and each freshman is assigned to an upperclassman to assist them with classroom activities. Since this program’s inception, the unit’s percentage on the A/B honor roll has increased by 78%.