Local youth experience Marine Corps life
By Sgt. Joshua Bozeman
| | April 9, 2003
MARINE CORPS LOGISTICS BASE ALBANY, Ga. -- The Young Marines attended a weeklong training camp here, March 31 through Friday.
More than 50 area children learned about various Marine Corps practices and gained practical knowledge on day-to-day life.
The children were eight to 18 years old and participated in several hours of classroom training, drill, and physical fitness.
According to Sgt. Daryl Rogers, who served as a drill instructor for the camp, the first day of training was very similar to the first day of boot camp, very intense and eye opening for most of the students or "recruits" involved.
The purpose of the camp was to build leadership and a sense of responsibility, said Rogers.
The Young Marines are set up almost like the active duty Marine Corps.
They ran the obstacle course, learned fire safety techniques and about rappelling from Base Fire Department personnel.
Students were also exposed to various operations of the local police, including substance abuse training, K-9 demonstrations, and displays of the Albany Police Department Special Reaction Team and the Breath Analysis Testing Mobile Unit.
According to 1st Sgt. Anthony Meriweather, Young Marines first sergeant, having the local policemen come out and speak to the children helped open doors by introducing the people inside the uniforms.
"What a lot of these children know about the police is that they live in the city and they never see them," said Meriweather. "A lot of these children are afraid of the police, and hopefully meeting them now will help curb that fear and build a bond between them."
According to Rogers, the lessons the children learn throughout the camp are taken back home to be applied in day-to-day life.
"To be Young Marines, they have to maintain high standards not only while they are in the program, but at home as well," said Rogers.