What do you do if you are a single Marine stuck at Camp Johnson Personnel Administration School with no place to go? Have no fear, the Single Marine Program is here.
Most of the Marines who go to PA school don’t have private vehicles, and instead of digging through their shallow pockets for cab fare to discover the abundant hidden treasures of Jacksonville for yet another weekend, SMP was glad to step in to give 47 Marines a taste of Myrtle Beach Nov. 22.
“The SMP is a great establishment,” said Master Sgt. Fernando M. Moreno, acting first sergeant for the school. “SMP gives the students a chance to get out of the barracks and the base, to see things outside Jacksonville. Not to mention, it’s a lot cheaper to do things through the SMP.”
For $50, the Marines received roundtrip transportation to Myrtle Beach. The fee included an endless array of activities and stores at Broadway on the Beach and the exciting entertainment dining experience at Medieval Times. It was a deal, considering the dinner and show alone at Medieval Times is $47.95 without tax, an amount Marines can easily spend in a night at a club in Jacksonville.
Despite its quirky name, Broadway on the Beach was quite entertaining for people of all ages. Broadway resembled an amusement park that would satisfy everyone from singles to families.
“I loved Broadway,” said Pvt. Nestor Flores. “It was something totally different with so many different attractions.”
Broadway had an abundance of shops to please either the mainstream franchise culture or the die-hard mom-and-pop store fans. Broadway also had rides, miniature golf, an IMAX theater, Ripley’s Aquarium and an array of local and well-known restaurants appetizing to even the most cultivated palate.
During the daytime, everyone enjoyed various events and festivities often held on Broadway. But when the sun fell, the adults came out to play and mingled while bar-hopping and dancing the night away. However, partying would have to wait for another night — the Marines had a medieval feast to attend.
The Marines hopped on the bus amped up for the rest of the night’s entertainment. It was onward to Medieval Times.
“Welcome to Medieval Times,” said a server, clad in period peasant’s clothing. “I’m Paige and I will be your food wench for the evening. In case you were wondering why you don’t have any utensils, these (indicating her hands) will be your utensils for the evening.”
It was already turning out to be an interesting night. The whole crowd was fed a healthy portion of a four-course medieval feast while they watched the spectacle provided by the knights of Medieval Times. The knights not only showed amazing skills of horsemanship, gamesmanship and pageantry, but transported the audience back the world of castles, kings, gore and war, and of course, the tale as old as time, love.
“The show was awesome,” said Pvt. Clark O. Stacey. “It was nothing that I expected, and I walked away from it pumped. It’s got a great plot, and of course the fight scenes were awesome.”
The evening came to a close with the Marines quite satiated both in body and spirit. Those who were of age enjoyed chalices of ale, and the Marines who were not, enjoyed helpings of soft drinks. Echoes of excitement from the aftermath could be heard throughout the bus on the way back to Camp Johnson. The Marines of PA school had a night of good, clean fun, with a little bit of Broadway and Medieval Times mixed in, thanks to the SMP.