DEFY Leadership Camp sign-ups extended until July 15

21 Jun 2011 | Lance Cpl. Victor Barrera

Marine Corps Community Services has extended their sign-up date for the Drug Education for Youth Leadership Camp, which is slated to begin Aug. 2 through 12.

Department of Defense identification cardholders with children ages 9 to 12 can enroll their children until July 15. The free program teaches children about the dangers of drugs, how to deal with bullying, peer pressure and many other issues that children face on a daily basis whether at school or the playground. The DEFY participants also go on field trips to fun and interesting places that reinforce their other camp experiences.

“The full DEFY Leadership program is a yearlong. The camp is only 10 days but we highly encourage parents to allow their children to continue being a part of the program until it is completed,” said Loida Householder, the local program coordinator for DEFY with MCCS. “After the camp, we will meet the last Saturday of every month until May, when the program is completed.”

Householder also stated that there will be several speakers to include a military police officer and a Navy Criminal Investigation Services agent to speak to children about drugs and Internet safety.

The DEFY camp starts at eight every morning and ends at 4:30 p.m. During that time, children are given a morning snack, lunch and then an afternoon snack.

In between eating, the children also talk about many things that can adversely affect them. Not only do they talk, the participants also exercise to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

“We do the President’s Challenge, which calls for a more active lifestyle,” said Householder. “I’ve had parents come up to me asking what we’ve done to their children because when they get home they eat dinner and pass out.”

For parents looking for a program that can teach kids not only about drugs but about an overall well-being, they need to look no further than DEFY.

“This is a complete program, it’s not just about drug education,” said Householder. “DEFY’s goal is to empower military youth to build positive, healthy lifestyles as drug-free, successful citizens.  We focus on a wide spectrum of topics including physical fitness, nutrition, gang resistance, Internet safety, and other subjects to reach this goal.”

The program is slated to run from August until April. Parents are required to fill out paperwork and present a military identification card to sign their children up. An ID card for the child indicating his or her age is also required. For more information, call 451-2865 or visit building 302.