Navy Students Complete Greasy Climb Together
Class of 2027 plebes climb during the Herndon Monument Climb at the U.S. Naval Academy, Wednesday, May 15, 2024, in Annapolis, Md. Freshmen, known as Plebes, participate in the climb to celebrate finishing their first year at the academy. The climb was completed in two hours, nineteen minsters and eleven seconds to complete. (AP Photo/Tom Brenner)

Navy Students Complete Greasy Climb Together

May 15th, 2024

New students at a big school for Navy people in Maryland did a special activity. They climbed a tall thing covered in grease. They did this to show they finished their first year of school. They worked together to get to the top. They wanted to change a white hat on top with a different hat. It took them a long time to do it - two hours, nineteen minutes, and eleven seconds! A lot of people watched the students climb. They cheered when the students finished. A student named Ben, from California, put the different hat on top. People were very happy and they said nice things to him. The students climbed even when it rained. It was very hard but they did not give up. After they finished, they are not called "new students" anymore. They did a good job working together. A big boss at the school talked to them after. She said they did great. She told them to remember this time because it's important. They have been doing this climb for many years. Sometimes it was easy, and sometimes very hard. But this time, it was special because they all worked hard to finish. Ben felt happy to put the hat on top. Everyone cheered for him and the others. They are now ready for their next year at the school.
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💭 Discussion Questions

. What did the new students at the school for Navy people do?
. How long did it take the students to climb the tall thing?
. What did the students change at the top?

📖 Vocabulary

🌐 Cultural context

This article is likely from the United States. It discusses a tradition at the United States Naval Academy in Maryland, where new students mark the completion of their first year by working together to climb a greased monument. This event is observed by spectators and signifies teamwork and accomplishment.

🧠 Further reading

Military academy
A military school is a special school. It teaches people to become leaders in the army. Students learn in a place that feels like the army. In different countries, military schools can be different. There are three kinds of military schools. Some schools are for young students and give them regular school lessons. Some are like universities and give bigger degrees. Others teach students to become officers in the army. Some military schools are for the navy. They teach students about boats and the sea. Long ago, the first military schools were made. They started in the 1700s. These schools taught special skills like building and using big guns. The oldest military school is in Italy. It started in 1678. Other old schools are in Denmark, Britain, and France. These schools inspired other countries too. Norway has an old military school and it is also a university. Military schools have a big history and help countries train their leaders for the army.

Team building
People who work or play together often do team building. This helps them get along better and do their jobs well together. They do special activities that are not like their everyday work. These activities help them work better as a team. Team building is good for many groups like sports teams, students, soldiers, and people who fly planes. Doing team building can make teams do their jobs better and be happier. One important part of team building is making goals. Everyone in the team helps to decide what they want to do well. They think about what is good and what is not good. This helps the team to do better.

Rite of passage
A special event happens when a person moves from one group to another. This is a big change in life. A man named Arnold van Gennep wrote about these events. People all over the world talk about them now. People are part of many groups. Sometimes, they move from one to another. It is like moving through different rooms in a house. Some group changes are very special. They may need a party or a special event. Arnold said that older groups have magic and religion. Even now, we have special ways to move between groups. These ways come from old times. Arnold wrote a book about these events. He said we can't know all of them. But he found some things that are the same everywhere. For example, men and women have different groups. And there are groups for things that are holy and not holy.