Every Thursday night, Stephen spends time working with Holyoke youth in the Young Marines Program. Since the Young Marines' humble beginnings in 1959 with one unit and a handful of boys, the organization has grown to over 280 units with 9,600 youth and 2,500 adult volunteers in 46 states, the District of Columbia, Germany, Japan and affiliates in a host of other countries. Upon joining a local Young Marines unit, recruits undergo a 26-hour orientation program, generally spread out over several weekly meetings. They learn general subjects such as military history, military customs and courtesies, close order drill, physical fitness, and military rank structure. After graduating from Young Marines Recruit Training, Young Marines have the opportunity to learn even more new skills, earn rank, wear the Young Marines uniform and work toward ribbon awards. Young Marines earn ribbons for achievement in areas such as leadership, community service, swimming, academic excellence, first aid and drug resistance education.
Saturday, May 12, 2018, they spent the day learning orienteering, how to pitch a tent and basic skills in the woods. Oorah!! Let's give a hand to these kids! It was pouring rain all day and they still stepped up to the plate!