Twentynine Palms -- With impaired vision, a Marine stumbles toward his vehicle, scrambling to find the seat as he falls into position. He searches frantically for the handles as he begins operating the vehicle, unknowingly crashing into the other drivers. His beer goggles slightly slide off his face as he tries to beat other racers on his tricycle to the finish line.
The tricycle race was the first portion of the Substance Abuse Program’s Scavenger Hunt at Del Valle Field, April 15, 2016.
SAP organized the scavenger hunt to educate Combat Center service members on the dangers associated with substance abuse. One example is the beer goggles, which simulated the effect alcohol has on vision and how it can affect the safe operation of any vehicle.
“If service members don’t know what the dangers are, they won’t know what to look out for,” said Carleen Dickson, substance abuse specialist, SAP. “Having that knowledge is what’s going to keep them from making those high-risk choices.”
The scavenger hunt started with seven teams of two running around the Del Valle track with tricycles, either riding or carrying them while wearing vision impairing goggles. Afterwards, they went on a scavenger hunt through mainside to search for different clues about substance abuse prevention programs.
Participants found clues in ammo cans, which lead to the next location. Locations include, the Education Center, the SAP Office, Robert E. Bush Naval Hospital, and the Career Resource Office.
“People have problems and sometimes they don’t know how to get help until it’s too late,” said Lance Cpl. Elijah Kelly, rifleman, 2nd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment. “It’s important to know where the resources are.”
Participants collected various items at each of the stations during the scavenger hunt and had to beat their competitors back to the starting point to win the event. Cpl. Jimmy Carter, rifleman, and Pfc. James Swain, motor transport operator, 2/7, won the event. Leaders from SAP presented the pair with a plaque for their victory.
“If they learn about substance abuse prevention now, they will pass the information to other people,” said Staff Sgt. Jason Syvrud, substance abuse control officer, 2/7. “It’s like any other life lesson. If they learn it while they’re young, they can guide others when they’re older.”
For more information on SAP and the programs they have to offer, call 760-830-6376.