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Twentynine Palms, California
Marine Air Ground Task Force Training Command and Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center

Elementary field day builds community bonds

18 Jun 2012 | LCpl. Ali Azimi Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms

Marines with 3rd Battalion, 11th Marine Regiment, and Mojave Viper Support Detachment, visited the students of Landers Elementary School to run a summer circuit course on the school’s playground for the kids Monday.

“This shows what we do,” said Cpl. Joshua J. Bosley, motor vehicle transport operator, Mojave Viper Support Detachment. “We support our country, but also help out our schools and volunteer.”

Although  a day playing with kids seemed like an easy day, Marines faced a challenge they had never encountered before — trying to control an entire school of children. 

All 155 students, kindergarten to 6th grade, emptied out onto the playground, excited to meet the Marines. There was a lot of screaming and jumping around. The kids were two days away from summer vacation and now they had Marines at their school. But even with their excitement bursting out, whenever the Marines began talking, the kids paid attention.

“They’re a great influence for the kids,” Tracey Madden, administrative assistant, Landers Elementary School. “The Marines are a really great role model for them to look up to, they don’t have a lot of that out here.”

Eight stations were setup in the playground with Marines manning each station. The kids were divided evenly between the stations where a challenge awaited them and after an alarm was sounded they would move onto the next station in the circuit.

Many of the stations incorporated some type of water activity, to get the kids soaked and let them cool off in the summer sun, but the kids weren’t the only ones to get wet. The students regularly ambushed the Marines with a surprise water fight, soaking them as they stood in their boots and utilities.

“I’d rather handle Marines, instead of all these kids,” Bosley said, laughing. “They scare me. We have a bunch of kids that outnumber us. I’m just waiting for them to say ‘dog pile.’”

The kids went through the day with the same level of energy they had come out with. If anything, the Marines were trying to keep up with them.

“This was awesome,” said Joshua Maddox, Landers Elementary School 4th grader. “I love having the Marines here.”

Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms