Cedar Creek senior spends summer training with Air Force, West Point

By Kelsey Horath

Cedar Creek senior Lauren Enterkin spent the month of June attending both the Air Force Academy Summer Seminar, along with West Point’s Summer Leadership Experience.

While Enterkin applied for colleges a few months ago, she noticed an application for the summer seminar. After gaining interest and submitting required documents, Enterkin was accepted to join the seminar in Colorado Springs.

During Enterkin’s time in Colorado Springs, she had the opportunity to listen to different panels of speakers and professionals. 

“We had speakers of all different professions that gave attendees a broad view of the Air Force,” Enterkin said. 

The seminar also allowed attendees the chance to tour different Air Force facilities and even be lodged where Cadets live during term. 

“The world renowned Aeronautical and Aerospace engineering labs were breathtaking,” Enterkin said. “I was so grateful to have been able to get such personal tours of Cadets that worked with the instruments they were speaking about.”

Later in the month, Enterkin attended West Point’s Summer Leadership Experience in New York, which allowed her the opportunity to interact with different training classes and hands on work.  

“We had our own sort of R day, the intensity lowered of course, which is the first day the freshman arrive for basic Cadet training,” Enterkin said. “We learned how to march and turn and learned to think through stress.”

Interactive work and training continued throughout West Point’s Summer Leadership Experience; however, Enterkin enjoyed every second to strength her mind and body from the hard work.

“I think the interactive portion of Summer Leadership Experience made me realize how much passion I had to serve my country and a large part of that realization came from the Cadre,” Enterkin said. “They embodied what I hope to be as a young adult.”

Alongside physical training, Enterkin also attended different classes and received hands on experience with different military machinery.

“I attended engineering courses and a law class where I acted as a prosecutor in a mock trial,” Enterkin said. “I also got to shoot blanks on a machine gun.”

Enterkin also enjoyed the days when fun competitions were taking place for attendees. 

“I participated in obstacle courses, where we crawled face first through dirt, scaled walls, flew across monkey bars and balance beams and raced boats,” Enterkin said. “And not to brag but our element won every single one.”

Valuing her opportunity to attend the Air Force Academy Summer Seminar and West Point’s Summer Leadership Experience, Enterkin has returned home with a newfound love for leadership and serving others.

“It might have been one of the best experiences of my life,” Enterkin said. “It taught me to not give up on myself or others and taught me what leadership should look like.”