Sneak Peak At The Yearbook Page For Our Seniors
Thirteen cadets, who started their careers here at Camden Military Academy either in the 8th or 9th grades, are preparing to graduate and to continue their lives’ journeys to the next level. Each of them is a unique young man from different places and with different plans. However, they all agree on basic elements of their experience at CMA. Each of them agrees that their four or five year experience is fundamentally different from those students attending the Academy for a semester, a year or even a couple of years. They all share dramatically improved relationships with their respective families. Additionally, each of these cadets has formed friendships which transcend mere classroom acquaintances. They all also express a deep belief that CMA has prepared them for their futures and has imbued them with a profound sense of self-confidence.
These cadets all described unequivocal improvements in their relationships with their parents. They said they are now more trusted than they ever have been. Furthermore, communication between them and their families has been strengthened.
Cadet 1LT Ray Gradwell, of Cape May, New Jersey, has been attending CMA since the 8th grade. He said of his relationship with his family, “It’s a lot better. Obviously my good grades make my parents happy, but they trust me more to make the right decisions, and my dad and I have more conversations because I’m more honest with him now.”
“CMA taught me to respect my elders and to try to help them out when they need help. It taught me to listen to them, because I now understand they know more than me,” said Cadet 2LT Malik McGill. McGill is from Kingstree, South Carolina and has attended The Academy since his 8th grade year.
As well as enhanced relationships with their families, these four and five-year cadets also point out that, because of the extended time and the fact they have been boarded together for years, they have formed extremely close bonds. These cadets have marched together, roomed together, learned together and played together more than kids at regular schools ever could. “Being here for four years with the same roommate (McGill) has led to much stronger bonding in terms of our friendship,” said Cadet CPT Matthew Zimmerman, a cadet at CMA since the 9th grade. His family background is of military service, and he has lived in many places.
In addition to improving character and fostering life-long bonds of friendship, CMA also readies “long run” cadets for the future through leadership training and building self-confidence. “I’ve learned to dress myself like a professional. I’ve learned to be there on time, and I’ve learned to be respectful and respectable,” said Cadet 1LT Breon Spencer. Spencer has been at CMA since his freshman year and hails from Dayton, Ohio.
Cadet 1SG Christopher Whittar, of Augusta, Georgia, has also been at the school since his freshman year. He said of his CMA experience, “When I first came here, I wasn’t at all sure if I was going to college. Now it’s not a matter of if I’m going to college, but which one.”.