Offering one of only three Young Marines programs in the entire state is a terrific accomplishment for American Legion LeBron Post 58, but the growth of the program and the success of the boys and girls enrolled in the program is what really brings a smile to the face of Erin Jones, Adjutant for the local Young Marines unit.
“We started the program in February 2011 with just five boys enrolled and this month we had 17 boys and girls show up for the Wednesday night meeting and activity. That’s a great success story!” LeBron Post Commander, Albert Hawkes commented.
“Erin was the spark plug that got the ball rolling and she continues in that role today; making out the schedule for each Wednesday and bringing in guest speakers to offer a variety of skill development programs.”
The Young Marines program is a youth education and service program for boys and girls ages 8 through 18 and promotes a healthy, drug free life style. The only requirement for enrollment is good standing at school.
Brian Orndorff, the unit Commander, quickly points out the program focus, “Character building, leadership, teamwork and discipline are just a few of the skills that we hope to develop in these boys and girls.” A review of the weekly topics reflects activities in marksmanship, first aid, public speaking, drug awareness and physical fitness.
Erin notes that while all the activities have been confined to the general American Legion post so far, future programs include camping, paint ball competition, and running in the Memorial 5K Marathon.
“Naturally, there is a bit of a military atmosphere at the meetings, with marching, some drill and ceremony and of course an overall respectful environment and we have fun at the same time”, notes Erin with a smile on her face and a twinkle in her eyes.
The Unit meets every Wednesday evening from 6-8:30PM at the American Legion Building in Guthrie and is continuously looking for adult volunteers to present programs or be involved with the development of boys and girls. Further information may be obtained by calling Erin Jones, 405) 243-7035, or the American Legion Post, (405) 282-2589.