Jump! Camille Thompson Earns Her Wings
June 30, 2011
Rising sophomore Camille Thompson shares some of the details of her experience in the Jump program...
This summer I was in a program called Jump (Airmanship 490), which lasts about a week and a half. The first three days are training, teaching everything you need to know. At the end of each day, we would be hoisted in harnesses hanging from the ceiling and the cadre (instructors) would spin us around and distract us while we tried to do and recite what we learned that day. The first day I did pretty well and passed my test. The training can be quite repetitive and boring but that didn't bother me, because I knew in two days I would be in the air! The second day was more training in the morning and basically the same routine. BUT THE THIRD DAY WAS INSANE!!!!!! It was the final day of testing and training and from what we heard, it was going to be intense. It was my turn to go--all of a sudden they said "GO" and a bucket of water was dumped on my head, someone hopped on my harness yelling in my ear and someone else was in a green costume doing a dance! I couldn't help but laugh and smile--plus they spun me around and I have motion sickness--so unfortunately I failed that part, but I made it up later and passed!
Today was the big day!!! I woke up so excited--even though it was about 4:15 in the morning, I woke up like I just had a shot of caffeine! So I am in the plane FINALLY and all the other jumpers are gone...it's just me and the Jumpmaster. They open the plane door and its SOOOO loud and the wind just rushing in the plane. He says "Stand in the door"! I slowly get up, scared out of my mind. The whole time I was like, "What is happening...Why am I doing this?! But there is no turning back now!" So as I approached the back of the plane, I just thought to myself (this sounds crazy), "If I die right now, at least I'm going out in style!!" Then I took what I thought was the leap of death!! But as I jumped, I felt nothing! I felt like one of the clouds just sitting there, then all the sudden I was like, "OH SHOOT, I should have been counting" so I hastily pulled my chute and off I went, from going 120 mph down to about 20 mph up...you do the math. But I lived (as you can tell)! As I was making my way down to the drop zone, my eyes were glued on the scenery...it was BEAUTIFUL!! They recorded our jump--I was so pumped that I jumped out of a plane, you can see on video the victory dance I did when the parachute deployed.
The other jump I will tell you about was crazzzzzzzzzzzzzzyyyy!! It was my turn to go again but I wasn't focused. I just stepped off the plane with no form and flipped a few times and fell head first for a few seconds! Earth looks pretty cool upside down!
Well, I've successfully completed the required five jumps and now I have my jump wings, along with one of the best experiences of my life. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all!