Hurdling through obstacle courses and scrambling under wires, teams competed for glory and charity in the first ever ROTC Gauntlet this weekend.
The boot camp style competition played out on Storke Field from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday and featured several teams facing off in a series of military inspired challenges. Proceeds generated by the event were donated to the San Marcos Children’s Fund.
During the first round of competition, participants charged through an obstacle course, bounding over a series of hurdles in order to reach the finish line as quickly as possible.
Next, the teams battled it out with Pugil sticks — heavily padded training weapons utilized by military personnel for bayonet training. Members from opposing teams battered one another with the foam-covered weapons, attempting to knock their opponents out of a designated circle.
The event culminated with a capture-the-flag assault course fought with water balloons and water guns.
According to Beau Bommer, a first-year Arabic major at SBCC and ROTC member, the event raised $2,000 for the San Marcos Children’s Fund — an organization which provides money to the San Marcos Parent Child Workshop, a non-profit group which provides affordable pre-schooling for families in the area and offers night classes for parents.
“A lot of the freshmen and I wanted to help the community,” Bommer said. “We want to make [the Gauntlet] a yearly thing to raise money for San Marcos. In Santa Barbara, prices for preschool are outrageous.”
According to Julianne Walsh, the Vice President of the SMPCW, the program offers quality preschool services at less than half the usual local price.
“Usually, pre-schooling costs $400 for three days a week,” Walsh said. “[The SMPCW] costs $150 for three days a week.”
Walsh said the money raised will go toward a scholarship fund for children in the program.
UCSB’s Army Reserve Officer Training Corps detachment — the Surfrider Battalion — was established at SBCC, then known as Santa Barbara College, in 1947. The ROTC program provides scholarships and leadership classes to its members, training college students to become officers in the U.S. Army.