The training, which leaders say is not intended to be applied outside the simulated Explorer setting, can involve chasing down illegal border crossers as well as more dangerous situations that include facing down terrorists and taking out "active shooters," like those who bring gunfire and death to college campuses. In a simulation here of a raid on a marijuana field, several Explorers were instructed on how to quiet an obstreperous lookout.
"Put him on his face and put a knee in his back," a Border Patrol agent explained. "I guarantee that he'll shut up."
Cathy Noriego, also 16, said she was attracted by the guns. The group uses compressed-air guns -- known as airsoft guns, which fire tiny plastic pellets -- in the training exercises, and sometimes they shoot real guns on a closed range.
"I like shooting them," Cathy said. "I like the sound they make. It gets me excited."
You're going to be the most popular mom in the trailer park, Cathy.