Nick Felag of Barrington spent part of his Thanksgiving break teaching third-graders at Primrose Hill School how to march, salute and stand at attention.
Felag is a third-class cadet at the U.S. Air Force Academy. He helped Arts Alive! founder and director Dena Davis whip into shape the kids who are making up Col. Hathi's “Elephant Troop” for the January performance of “Jungle Book.”
“Pick a spot on the wall and stare at it,” Felag told the kids about standing at attention. “Don’t look at anything else.”
Felag’s sister, Elizabeth, is an intern with Arts Alive! this semester. She asked him to pitch in. He consented immediately.
“Dena is awesome,” said Felag. “I love Dena. I told her I would love to do that.”
Felag himself is a former Barrington Community Theater and Barrington High School Stagemasters’ member. He has auditioned for a performance of “The Wedding Singer” at the Air Force Academy.
The kids were rusty, as could be expected, as Felag called out “hut two three four” and they marched around the cafeteria. Felag said it took him and most of the cadets in his class about three weeks to get things right.
“It started on the bus that delivered the cadets to the school,” he said. “If we didn’t do it right, they’d yell at us.”
Felag’s interest in the Air Force began in high school. He was a member of the Civil Air Patrol. He is majoring in physics and wants to help launch missiles and satellites during his 5-year commitment to the Air Force after he graduates.
On Tuesday afternoon, Felag’s primary interest were the kids making up the “Elephant Troop.”
“It’ their first day,” said Davis. “We’ll get better. Nick is helping to make us look military as we polish things up.”