Devil Pups Going Strong at Camp Pendleton (Video)
It's that time of year again - when the Devil Pups descend on Camp Pendleton and participate in a very unique type of summer camp.
The Devil Pups Youth Program For America is a non-profit group not affiliated with the Marines - indeed, the Devil Pup website makes clear the program "is not a 'mini boot camp' para-military or recruiting organization for the Marine Corps." Nonetheless, the Camp Pendleton community embraces the kids who participate in the program there each year, and the base has hosted the Pups annually since 1954.
The Devil Pups are escorted by volunteers, usually made up of either active servicemembers or retired military - like Jerry A. Blandford. He's a retired Marine Master Sergeant who coordinates logistical support for the Devil Pups program. Blandford told Pendeton News:
Teenagers (ages 14-17) must live in California, Nevada, and Arizona to qualify to be a Devil Pup. The Pups learn about leadership, how to swim (if they don't know how), how make decisions as a team, first-aid administration, and respect for other cultures and ethnicities. The ten-day programs take place this year July 7-16 and July 21-30.
The program itself might be a little hard to picture, so I've included this video about the Devil Pups, posted by the group on YouTube. http://youtu.be/52zTXh7LSEA