Bliss Woods Forest Preserve, Sugar Grove, IL

From LTJG Kobleur:

**The cadets all had a great time during this extended weekend training, and learned (or re-learned for some of our more experienced cadets) basic field survival skills. They learned how to move in the field, to use cover and concealment wherever and whenever possible, and the importance of light and noise discipline. Saturday evening’s game of Capture the Flag highlighted the importance of teamwork, and relying on each other to accomplish the mission at hand.

**The cadets constructed a weather machine using supplies they found lying around that showed the current weather conditions, and also served as a compass and timepiece. The cadets didn’t realize it, but the device they constructed also had the capabilities to serve as an earthquake detector; fortunately earthquakes are relatively rare in the Chicago area, so that capability remained hidden.

**For community service this year, the Bliss Woods Forest Preserve asked us to help in saving an indigenous plant species by collecting the mature seed pods across several acres for replanting elsewhere in the preserve.

**Watchstanding, while rarely topping anyone’s list of fun activities, is always important to safety. Two hour watches, staffed by two cadets on each watch, kept everyone safe while also providing an opportunity for the cadets to ask questions, to discuss other Sea Cadet trainings and experiences, and to quiz each other on 11 General Orders and other military knowledge.

**I believe all the cadets enjoyed their dinner Sunday evening, consisting of MREs (Meals Ready to Eat), which was a new experience for many.

**We welcomed our newest recruits formally into the division with the capping ceremony at first formation; there they received their recruit ballcaps which they will wear until they complete the indoc phase of their training and can demonstrate they know basic skills regarding some basic military courtesies and knowledge.

**AN Glass was promoted to Petty Officer 3rd Class at evening colors on Sunday, and so has made a major transition into the Petty Officer ranks within our division.

**I wish to thank all the adults who participated both directly and behind the scenes, without whom this bivouac would not have happened: LTjg Jeff Dooley, INST Jo Ellen Glass, INST Joe Jackman, INST Anne Wilson-Dooley, and LCDR Dan Wayeshe.

**In particular I want to recognize the exceptional service of INST Jo Ellen Glass in organizing, planning, and preparing the meals for this bivouac. Hot meals in the field are always appreciated, and she went way above the call of duty to insure that we always had something hot and nutritious to eat. On behalf of the entire division, I wanted to express our thanks to her for the extra effort.

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