Hundreds of Junior ROTC cadets from across the state and Louisiana arrived to Camp Shelby on Monday to begin training exercises.
About 425 JROTC cadets from all over the state, as well as some schools from Louisiana, are participating in their annual leadership challenge training at Camp Shelby in Hattiesburg this week.
While at camp, the cadets will learn valuable life skills and team building exercises.
"It also improves their opportunity to become better citizens, which is the primary objective," Col. Robert Avery, public affairs officer for the group, said.
"This whole summer camp is built to basically hone your leadership skills," said Cadet Payne Boyd, a senior George County High School. "That way when you go out into the world you can just shine and be a leader. The first word that comes to me in the ROTC his family. We do everything together."
"Being in the program really has overall helped me become a better leader for the school and for the community, it helps me get back to the community it just helps all around and even at home," said Chance Daniels, an 11th grade Petal High School cadet.
"The program is a very important part of my life," Samantha Holland said. "It helps teach me a lot of things, especially like respect and humility and integrity and most of all it has helped me come out of my comfort zone."
Most high schools around the state have a junior ROTC program in place, and if any of the cadets are interested in joining the military, the staff can certainly assist in that effort.