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Booster club proposed for Waynesville JROTC Tiger Battalion
WAYNESVILLE, Mo. (March 24, 2009) — The Waynesville R-VI School District could be getting another booster club, board members learned at their Monday night meeting.

Waynesville High School Principal Darrel Vaughan and 1st Sgt. Scott Hildenbrandt, the senior NCO instructor for the Junior ROTC program, both supported the concept of a JROTC booster club that would raise additional money to support the activities of the Tiger Battalion JROTC program at Waynesville.

“This is all about achieving recognition for an already outstanding program,” Vaughan said. “I went to the drum line competition in Ozark and when you go to their gymnasium they’ve got banners all over the wall, but a lot of their banners are JROTC national recognitions, state recognitions. They do a lot of work and they have a big support from a booster program. I know there are other booster programs out there.”

Hildenbrandt said the Ozark and Sedalia JROTC programs have strong booster clubs, and the Sedalia program “is widely recognized as the most successful JROTC program in the country.”

Waynesville’s JROTC program is good but could be better, Hildenbrandt said.

“I’m not brand new to the JROTC program. I worked for the government the last four years overseeing the 80 programs in the state of Missouri, Arkansas, Oklahoma and Illinois, so I got to see the best and the worst of the 80 programs. I’d like to do what I can to bring out program up to an elite level rather than a very good level,” Hildenbrandt said.

Bringing a booster club could be very helpful, Hildenbrandt said.

“Why do we need a booster club to present opportunities for the kids that they currently don’t have?” Hildenbrandt asked. “We compete, as you may or may not know, in several different co-curricular activities, drill team, raider team, color guard competitions, and there are some more available that we’d ultimately like to compete in, too … There are a lot of activities out there available to our cadets that we currently, although the school does give us a generous stipend to go on these trips, it’s only enough for three or four trips.”

In the current school year, the Waynesville JROTC cadets were able to go to two drill team competitions but in doing that had to eliminate one of Lt. Col. Larry Nelson’s raider team competitions.

“I’d like to do seven or eight drill meets next year, and in order to do that, we’ll raise our own money with our booster club program,” Hildenbrandt said.

Responding to questions from board members, Hildenbrandt said the Waynesville JROTC program began the 2008-09 school year with 264 cadets but has dropped to 250. That’s expected due to the transiency of a military community, he said.

“Next year I’m expecting even more because we’ve got a large eighth-grade class down there that we actually went down and briefed back in Janaury,” Hildenbrandt said. “We do have a very large program, we just want to make it a little more successful.”

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