- 8 August: March Back. The Class of 2020 marched into West Point to begin their careers as cadets. We had parents stay with us to witness this.
- 13 August: Acceptance Day. The Class of 2020 was officially accepted into the Corps of cadets. We had a full house.
- 16 August: Club Sign-Up We enrolled another 180 Plebes who expressed an interest in OCF. We will probably see 40-50 of them come to our weekly meetings.
- 20 August: Plebe Retreat. This is entirely planned and executed by cadets under the auspices of the chaplains. Tom was asked to give one of the messages, along with the NAV and BCM directors, which was a wonderful opportunity to be seen and heard by the new Plebes. This was the largest retreat since we’ve been here. The cadets did a good job getting the Plebes there.
- 21 August: Small Group Leader Training. We did the SGL Training at the OCF House this year followed by dinner. The staff and faculty were very receptive to the changes we had made in response to the desires of our cadet leadership team. The cadets met the adults they would be paired up with for the year. It is fun to hear the introductions and how some of the new people were taught by some of our older leaders! It’s such a good lesson for the cadets
- 23 August: First Praise and Worship/Bible study. Two years ago we eliminated the Welcome Back Party at the request of our cadet leadership team and we now start off the year where we meet every week. We bring tables and set up generous amounts of snacks to encourage mingling and reconnecting. Then we have an extended time of praise and worship before introducing the teachers and classes for the year.
- 26 August: Ring Weekend. The Class of 2017 received their class rings in a ceremony at Trophy Point. A group of our Christian cadets had organized a dinner river cruise. It was fun to meet their families.
- 27 August: Women’s Kick-off. We invited female cadets to come to the OCF House for brunch, Bible study and discussion. The purpose was twofold: First, to help the new Plebe girls identify the upper-class girls who are Christians and second, to foster discipling relationships between the cadets and the adult women. We feel that both were accomplished as the small discussion groups allowed for the swapping of advice and good fellowship occurred.
God Sightings of the Month
One of our Firsties, Colt, has started a Bible study on the Rock Climbing Team. The coach won’t allow him to have it before or after practice in the rock climbing room (“not on government property”) but it is flourishing nonetheless! Andrew Baldwin ’18 is spending this semester in France. He spent his last Sunday here worshipping in the Cadet Chapel. As I told him good-bye, he let me know he had already found an English-speaking, evangelical church where he could worship. He looked ahead to plan for his spiritual health!
Three of our cadets in Taiwan for the semester are meeting together for Bible study while they are away. Many times cadets go off the deep end when they spend a semester abroad. We have around 20 of our OCF Juniors and Seniors away this year.
The chaplain informed us that we CAN do our lunchtime Bible studies, but only if we submit a trip section request each week, which is an administrative step that will cause the cadets to have to sign up and commit to coming to the study one week in advance. This eliminates the spontaneous invitation to a classmate to join them that day, which happens frequently. It puts a burden on our Officer-in-charge to manage the trip section and monitor them. Our plan is to ask the chaplain’s secretary to handle these, which will serve to emphasize that these studies are from the chaplains office, conducted by us, since clubs are not allowed to meet for lunch meetings more than once a month. Less than a week after we received that information, the chaplain informed us that all lunchtime studies were cancelled by order of the Commandant. All cadets are to be at their company tables during lunch and there will be no meetings taking place during lunch. We are planning on doing a Wednesday evening supper study which will be open to all the female cadets. Because of anticipated numbers and what the conference room can accommodate, 1st and 2nd regiment ladies will attend on alternate weeks with 3rd and 4th regiment ladies. They will no longer be divided by classes, but will all study the same thing.
The wives of the chaplains, president of PWOC, director of Young Life, the Director of Religious education and the wives of all the ministries have been invited to the OCF House on Thursday mornings for prayer. So far, Navs, BCM, OCF, and the USCC Chaplain’s wife have attended. The purpose is to pray for West Point, its leadership, the cadets, the chaplains, the various ministries and the families of those involved in those ministries. We did this successfully two years ago, but let it drop last year.