MARYSVILLE — The cadets and parents of the Marysville-Pilchuck High School Naval Junior ROTC program got a chance to put in some fun extracurricular work at the local McDonald’s “McTeacher’s Night.”
M-PHS NJROTC Cmdr. Randy Brasfield estimated that more than 30 cadets came ready to work on April 16, while another 50 participated by bringing their families to buy meals during the hours when the Marysville McDonald’s was donating portions of its proceeds to the NJROTC program.
“A number of people made a very special effort to show up, especially since a number of them don’t normally eat at McDonald’s,” Brasfield said. “We actually had more people than we needed, which was why we had cheering squads outside on the street, and cadets sweeping up and busing tables. That restaurant was a really upbeat place for two hours.”
A minimum of 15 parents and other adults were stuck behind the counter, helping to take customers’ orders and to serve them up promptly, while the cadets made themselves busy either cleaning up, greeting customers at the door or holding signs to draw more customers in.
“The McDonald’s supervisor told me that the cadets were so wonderful,” Brasfield said. “She loved that they paid attention and were ready to meet the needs of the work force with common courtesy and service.”
“If any of the cadets are looking to apply for jobs there, they should just say they’re with NJROTC,” M-PHS NJROTC Chief Petty Officer Kathleen Wilde laughed.
Cadet Seaman Apprentice Lorraine Abagatnan took pride in how the evening generated $506 in tips alone, which she expects will be used to cover expenses such as drill rifles.
“You get this really great family feeling from being in NJROTC,” said Abagatnan, who enjoyed taking part in the event. “You build relationships within the group that you wouldn’t think you would.”
Cadet Petty Officer 2nd Class Tyler Archambeault, who kept himself busy wiping down counters and serving as the McDonald’s doorman for the evening, appreciated being able to demonstrate the responsibility that he and his fellow cadets have developed through their time in NJROTC.
“The next generation is taking the initiative,” Archambeault said. “We want to help out on behalf of greater causes. Before NJROTC, I felt like nobody paid any attention to me. My experiences in NJROTC have allowed me to build honor, courage, commitment and actually use them. When you can be a good role model to others, and know that they want to be like you, that’s an outstanding feeling.”
Archambeault and Abagatnan agreed that the lessons they’ve learned in NJROTC apply well beyond the bounds of high school, although those experiences have also made them more invested in high school itself.
“I really don’t want to leave class at the end of the day,” Abagatnan said. “I feel so included in this group.”
Brasfield hopes to make the “McTeacher’s Night” an annual tradition for the M-PHS NJROTC.
“Hopefully, the next time we can spread the word even further before that night,” Brasfield said.