Marine Corps Logistics Base ALBANY Ga. --
Young men and women from around the nation train intensely for 13 weeks at either Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, S.C., or MCRD San Diego, Calif., to become Marines and wear the coveted eagle, globe and anchor.
To receive a tiny glimpse of what their parents went through to become Marines, Marine Corps Family Team Building will host its first Little Leatherneck Boot Camp April 27 from 5-7 p.m. at Boyett Park near Covella Pond for active-duty family members, ages 6-12.
Parents must register their children by April 20 in order to receive certificates and dog tags for graduating from the boot camp, according to Paula Caserio, director, MCFTB. Children will also eat graduation cake at the end of the event.
“It’s going to be really important that the families register in advance,” she said. “We need to make sure we have a permission slip because we are going to be doing some physical activities and we need to be aware of any health concerns of the children even though there are going to be minor activities.”
Caserio noted the latest date parents may sign their children up for the Little Leatherneck Boot Camp is April 24, but children will only receive their certificates at that time and may have to wait to receive their dog tags.
Caserio described the boot camp as a way to help the children to understand a little more about military life.
“Some of the other installations have done this in honor of Month of the Military Child and so we are actually taking some of their ideas and twisting it and making it our own,” she said. “We’re going to have our Marines involved. It will be basically like a boot camp almost, but it’s not intense.”
Marines will run the events, which will include walking around the pond, balloon toss, water gun activities and crawling, Caserio added.
She hopes they will learn some new, important abilities such as teamwork, following directions and leadership skills from the boot camp.
“They are going to have to really work together and that will help them in turn understand their parents’ relationship with the Marine Corps and the other Marines they work with and support all the time,” Caserio said. “We are going to do some explaining about the history of the Corps and that piece will be very similar to boot camp.
“We’re hoping it’s successful and next year we would like to do it again if we have the interest,” she continued. “I think it gives the children a great opportunity for physical fitness. It gives the children a great opportunity for team building skills and children need to learn about core values such as those learned (in) the Marine Corps.”
Caserio said if parents have younger children, there will be activities for them like bouncy castles and ring toss while older siblings participate in the Little Leatherneck Boot Camp.
One Marine, who will help with the events, hopes the children will have fun as well as learn teamwork.
“One thing they will learn is teamwork just like boot camp,” Sgt. Chris Sinclair, Headquarters Company Office, Headquarters and Support Company, MCLB Albany, said. “They will be tired, get exercise, but overall they will have fun,” he added.
To sign children up, call 229-639-5199.