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Cadet Severino Conquers Hawk Mountain

posted Jul 30, 2018, 11:24 AM by David Froiseth

This month Cadet Sam Severino attended the week-long Hawk Mountain Ranger School (HMRS) located in Kempton, PA.  As the longest running Search & Rescue (SAR) School in the nation, HMRS has provided some of the best wilderness SAR training to cadets and seniors throughout the country for over 60-years.  The school is conducted outside in the same conditions as a real mission and is the most intense and rewarding summer activity that CAP has to offer.     

 ​Cadet Severino’s first several days of the school started at 0545 hours, with physical training, the obstacle course then a run or soccer.  A variety of classes were conducted throughout each day, teaching individual skills about equipment and techniques used in team searches, navigation, cutting tools, rappelling, and wordsmanship skills. 

 “We were taught basic survival skills like fire and shelter building.  We also learned advanced Emergency Service skills including but not limited to how to form and command a search line, how to signal a plane, and responding to emergencies with basic first aid” cadet Severino said.  In addition to the practical skills, leadership and character development were emphasized.  

 After training was complete cadet Severino participated in a multi-day field training exercise which tested all of his acquired skills along with his endurance.  “We put together our 72-hour bags and set out to climb Hawk Mountain.  Climbing the mountain was a grueling but rewarding experience.  It took one and a half days to climb to the top and another day and a half to get back down.  The trek, although difficult at times, was eased by our teamwork and motivation plus the view at the top was amazing” said cadet Severino.

 This was followed by the final part of the school which involved testing, not just to graduate from the school, but also to earn Ranger Grade certification.  Throughout the entire school, cadet Severino was challenged to take charge of difficult situations in order to become part of a working team.  According to cadet Severino “this school prepared me for the future by teaching advanced search and rescue.  I learned that I can overcome obstacles and succeed.  I stand ready to serve in any CAP ground team missions that come our way.”