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PCHS cheerleader gets ‘once in a lifetime’ trip to London

Pike County High School senior Kylie Redmon had a goal. When she attended cheerleading camp at her school this past summer, she wanted to be named a UCA All-American. And, from there, the sky would be the limit.

Cheerleading squads that attend a Universal Cheerleaders Association Camp may nominate squad members to compete for the honor of being named a UCA All-American. Those who make All-American qualify for a special event trip and the experience of a lifetime.

“I wanted so much to be named a UCA All-American because that is a real honor and it’s also a great opportunity to get to travel and see things and do things that you probably wouldn’t have the chance to do,” Kylie said. “At least, not at my age.”

When Kylie was named a UCA All-American, doors were opened wide to her.

“I had three special event trips that I could participate in,” she said. “One was Disney World. The other was Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and the other was to participate in the New Year’s Day Parade in London. That’s what I wanted to do.”

But, first things first. Kylie had to raise the money for the special event trip so she made a plan. She would  “hint” to family members what a wonderful graduation gift the trip would be and she would be a very available babysitter.

Her family came through and she spent many nights when she could have been out with friends, sitting with babies.

On December 27, Kylie Redmon, all alone, boarded a plane for the first time in her life for the eight-hour flight “over the ocean” to London. There were more than a few butterflies but she was not going to miss out on such a great opportunity.

“The plane hit a lot of turbulence. It was like we were riding on a bumpy dirt road,” she said. “I was scared to death and, because of the turbulence, the flight took nine hours. When we got to London, it was windy and cold. I was not off to a good start.

“But as soon as I saw the Guoman Tower all lit up, I knew London would be a trip of a lifetime for me,” Kylie said. “We stayed at the Hotel Tower and I could look out and see the Tower and the city. It was beautiful. It was great just being in the hotel.”

There were five cheerleaders from Alabama on the trip and they became friends and enjoyed seeing London together.

Kylie visited Windsor Castle, which is the oldest and largest occupied castle in the world.

“I loved it and Westminster Abby is a beautiful church. We had to climb 700 steps to St. Paul’s Cathedral and learned how it was saved from being bombed during World War II. I went though The London Dungeon and learned about London’s darkest past.

“I enjoyed learning the history of London and going to all those sites that I had heard about and read about but thought I would never see.”

Kylie went ice skating for the first time at the city’s Winter Carnival, rode the London Eye, a giant Ferris wheel, and ate a lot of unsalted French fries at McDonald’s.”

The New Year’s Day Parade was fun but tiring because the cheerleaders had to run from one “routine” stop to the next for about two hours.

“Getting to go to London was an amazing opportunity for me,” Kylie said. “Now, I want to travel more. I learned so much, saw much and had such a wonderful time.  I would recommended a trip like this to anybody that has the opportunity.”

Kylie came home to Hook’s barbecue and sweet tea and focused on high school graduation. She plans to attend Troy University and earn a degree in interpretive sign language and possibly teach and, for sure, travel back across the ocean.

PCHS cheerleader gets trip to London