If the Carson River gets any higher, Douglas High School’s Tiger Battalion might get a chance to put their rope bridge skills to use.
On Saturday, two poles standing across a green field served as trees on either side of a river as 10 teams from across Northern Nevada participated in a Raider Challenge competition at Douglas High School.
Instead of having to swim, the cadet ran with the rope to the other side and tied off the pole as those preparing to cross had their gear inspected.
Each cadet got a boost up and hooked onto the rope with a carabiner and pulled themselves over in 2 minutes, 31 seconds, a score that had the team high-fiving at the other end.
The rope bridge was one of several challenges the team participated in on Saturday, including a 2-mile team relay, a one-mile litter relay, a tire flip and pulling a Humvee.
Retired Col. Mike Glynn, who advises the Tigers, said the team took third place in the competition. First place went to Spanish Springs and second to Galena.
It has been the first time in over a half-dozen years that Douglas has hosted a Raider Challenge.
The name refers to a far older sort of raider than the Las Vegas football team.
The challenges are popular athletic competitions among Junior ROTC programs across the country. It’s the high school version of Army ROTC Ranger competitions held in colleges.
The Spanish Spring Cougars placed in national competition in 2021.
Douglas has been home to an Army Jr. Reserve Officer Training Corps since 2007.
Glynn said the program is at 105 cadets this spring, which is a 40 percent increase in the program over the past three years.
“We did not even have a Raider Challenge team two years ago and now we are consistently placing in the top third it seems,” he said.
He said there was a time not too long ago that Douglas was in danger of losing the program because the Tigers were on probation for not having the minimum enrollment.
“Programs are Congressionally capped and, in order for another school to open a program, one has to be shut down somewhere else,” he said. “It’s gotten to the point where us instructors don’t have to push the program anymore because the cadets are doing it; bringing in friends and siblings.”
On June 18-20, some of the cadets will participate in the JROTC Cadet Leadership Challenge, where they will learn water survival skills, rappelling, kayaking, and conduct a high ropes course in Tahoe City. The rappelling will be done at the Carson Fire Academy tower at the Carson City Airport.