Ice, ice [water] baby


Brothers Derrick, left, and Michael Redden shown here after participating in the 2018 Polar Plunge in North Beach, will be entering the icy waters of the Chesapeake Bay on Dec. 16 in St. Leonard. (Polar Plunge article; submitted photo)

Angelique GIngras, Contributor

Cold air and colder water will be on tap when the Calvert High School Navy Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps hosts its first annual Polar Plunge to raise funds for its upcoming trip to France.

The Polar Plunge will take place Sunday, Dec. 16, at Northern Long Beach in St. Leonard. The plunge will take place at 9:30 a.m. for ages 12 and younger and their families, and 11 a.m. for adults. The cost is $20 per person for both plunges.

The plunge will help the Calvert NJROTC travel to Normandy, France in June to take part in the D-Day 75th Anniversary Memorial Parade. Calvert is one of two ROTC units from the United States that was invited to attend.

“As you can imagine, a trip to France is not cheap,” said Chief Petty Officer Lauren Collis, a junior at Calvert High. “Our cadets and their families had to pay quite a chunk of change, and this Plunge will be a way of giving benefits back to those people.”

And the plunge will help offset the cost of the trip.

Collis has been working alongside Calvert High front office secretary Valerie Redden to organize the plunge.

Redden came up with the idea to have a polar plunge in the southern end of the county. North Beach has been hosting one Jan. 1 for several years.

“I am in charge of the Plunge with the help of several NJROTC booster parents and cadets,” Redden said. “I have worked with the Long Beach Community Association and Flag Harbor Marina to make this plunge possible.”

The components of the event are slowly coming together as supervising cadets and volunteers are organizing registration, taking care of food and designing tee shirts.

The hope is to make the plunge an annual event.

“We hope that people will come out to this event and enjoy taking a plunge before the holidays,” said Redden, whose sons Michael and Derrick have participated in the North Beach event the past three years.

The Calvert High NJROTC will continue its fundraising for its trip to France with a spaghetti dinner and performance by Chinese acrobats 5 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 15, at Calvert High School. Tickets are $15 for both the dinner and the show, $10 for the show or dinner, half price for ages 5 to 10 with paid adult, and free for ages 4 and younger. Tckets will also be available at the door.

For more information on the Polar Plunge or dinner, email valerie Redden at [email protected].

To preregister for the Polar Plunge, which guarantees the participant a tee shirt and a certificate, go to



The writer is part of the Young Journalists Program, a partnership between Calvert County Public Schools and The Calvert Recorder. This article was originally published in the Calvert Recorder on December 12, 2018.