Young Marines start up in SW Washington

Young Marines start up in SW Washington

A new youth organization is coming to Southwest Washington to help the youth in our area. The organization is called Young Marines; their mission is to positively impact America's future by providing quality youth development programs for boys and girls. The program also helps the youth enjoy a healthy drug-free lifestyle.

Ken Norwood is starting this program in Winlock with the hopes of having youth from all over the area participate in this great opportunity. Ken Norward has been involved with the Young Marines since 2003.

Per Norwood, "This program is for all Lewis County youth from age 10 to the completion of high school. We are not a recruiting service for any of the armed forces nor are we a political or religious based group. Our service is to keep kids in school, develop leadership, patriotism and community involvement. We are a youth education program, with a focus on drug demand reduction."

The most important part of the program Norwood stated is "the youth will learn responsibility and accountability for their actions. In general, we have seen youth grades increase, respect for others and a greater willingness for household chores." Norwood continued, "The Young Marines has been awarded the Fulcrum Shield Award 8 out of 16 times for excellent in Youth Anti-Drug Programs." This award is given by the Department of Defense. This is a great achievement for any youth organization.

In order to become part of this program, they are having an informational meeting on August 22, 23, and 24 at 7:00 p.m. The first meeting is in Chehalis at 156 NW Chehalis Ave, but after this, meetings will be in Winlock at the Winlock Community Building. It is a requirement for both the student and parent to be at the first meeting. Norwood stated "We want parent involvement because we want their youth as successful as possible." After the initial meeting, they will meet the 1st and 3rd Saturday of every month for 8 hours per day.

Norwood is all about community as well, "Community involvement is what we want to see from the youth of Lewis County. Being involved gets the youth to understand that we are about community,' he stated.

This is an opportunity to get your youth into a nationally recognized organization that will help your youth succeed. Norwood has assistance from others in the area such as Bill Marshall, former Mayor of Mossyrock and Executive Officer of Lewis County Young Marines and his wife Jan is the Treasurer. This is a great opportunity for youth in our area to have a program designed for them. This program can not be a success without participation from our youth, both male and females are welcomed to join. Let's make sure the youth of Lewis County have an opportunity to succeed through this program.