The Third Class Challenge Course for Upper Schools boys and girls took a new twist Wednesday. For the first time since its 2015 inception, the event was completely planned and operated by the regimental staff and battalion leaders.
Commonly known as the “Mud Run,” running the course completes the orientation period for first-year boys and girls, Summer Commandant Col. Warren Foersch said. Those who have completed the program will be officially recognized as third-classmen and welcomed to the Corps at the first garrison parade on Saturday, June 23. Culver has 283 third-classmen this summer.
Felipe Samper (Naval 1) and Samantha Bialek (Deck 2), who were in charge of the course’s starting point, said there were six obstacles. Each one was operated by assigned unit leaders. The first five corresponded with each of Culver’s Medal of Honor recipients. After each unit completed the obstacle, the new campers would hear the story about the Medal of Honor winner being recognized.
New campers went through by units on 15-minute intervals. The boys went first, followed by the girls. The plan called for each unit to complete the course in approximately 90 minutes and all the campers to be finished within 3.5 hours. Each unit finished with a plunge into Lake Maxinkuckee. Adults were present at each station as safety officers.
The experience is intended to bring the units closer together through the individual physical challenges and team-building exercises. By reinforcing the lessons they have learned during their first five days of camp, the program helps the third-classmen develop as emerging leaders by increasing unit cohesion and advancing individual development.