MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. --
Children of Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune services members are getting a head start in the game of golf, etiquette and life.
Approximately 20 children participated in a weekly round of golf offered by First Tee, an organization with a mission to impact the lives of young people by providing golfing experience and educational programs that promote character development and life-enhancing values.
With every weekly golf meeting the children not only learned new golf skills and golf jargon but also First Tee’s core values.
“The children learn about how to respect the golf course and also courtesy to other players, not just in golf but in life,” said Chief Warrant Officer 4 Scott Danjou, head coach for Wednesday night First Tee meetings. “We just teach them to be good individuals.”
The children are also put into leadership positions to not only make them feel important but also to let them take charge and lead other golfers.
“I’m a strong believer that if you teach your children to be good (people), they’ll be successful,” said Danjou. “That’s how I raised my kids and I want to pass this on to other children.”
As the kids golfed, Danjou spoke to them about positive attitudes and how it can affect them.
“While you’re playing golf, think positive thoughts. It will help you more than you think,” said Danjou.
The children then lined up and took turns trying to hit the ball as close to the hole as possible. After every hit the children were asked what their positive thoughts were.
“At least I hit it into the green,” was an answer many of the children responded with.
“I like being here, this is pretty good,” said Chris Frye, a military dependent and First Tee golf participant. “I was taught to respect and take care of the golf course because other people come here to use it as well.”
For one child, his wish of playing ‘grown-up golf’ came true and now, not only is he learning golf, but life skills that may help him later on in life when he may need to project himself as a good citizen.
“My son loves it,” said Larissa Perez, a military spouse. “He’s been wanting to play for so long and when I heard about the program I signed him up. They teach him the ins and outs of golf, now he can’t wait to play his first game.”
Although it is too late for parents to sign their children up for the fall session of First Tee, Danjou said that with all the positive feedback the group has been receiving they are planning on making a spring session.
“It’s an excellent way to introduce kids to golf and teach them the fundamentals,” said Danjou. “We also help them to be respectful, a better child and courteous to others.”
If parents want to sign their children up for First Tee, they can visit the golf section of the Marine Corps Community Services website, mccslejeune.com/golf/index.html.