Monday, July 18, 2011


...there's nothing else to say

About a year ago our grandson saw a news item on the Devil Pups. Since then he did a bit of researching online and came across their website. He checked everything out. Then he decided he wanted to participate. He had to wait until he turned 14 as that is the minimum age.

As grandparents we had our thoughts about it... 'will he be able to?' ; 'is he strong enough physically'; 'what happens if he got hurt'...the more we thought the more determined he was.

So the ball was put into motion and he applied and was accepted to try out.

First he had to pass a Physical Fitness Test (PFT).

In his group of 77 only the best 45 went through and he went through. (We were beaming!)

He then about a week and a half to get his 'gear' ready.

And then the big thing ~ he had to report at 6 a.m. (this meant getting up at least by 4:30-5:00 which is a feat in itself for the little night owl).

Then the hard part started...

...during the next 10 days he ~

* hiked over 28 miles;
* ran over 18 miles;
* fell into a pool (three times) from a level of 15 feet; 25 feet and 35 feet;
* ran an obstacle course ~ twice;
* slept outside twice;
* hiked up the biggest mountain on the military base (those who made it to the top earned a special coin)
* ate in a chow hall
* toured a military ship and museum
* ran in the sand and ocean
* did a bit of recon training (mud pit they squirmed and crawled in)
* attended motivational meetings (one speaker was Sugar Ray Leonard and another is a famous baseball player for the California Angels; there were also military officers speaking)

There are clips from previous years on

We were honored, as were the paternal grandparents, to attend the graduation ceremony this past Saturday.

This is the 59th year for Devil Pups.

It is a hard, grueling experience but it is one that those who go through will never forget.

Participants must be between 14 and 17 and it is our understanding that they can participate just once. They must reside in California, Nevada or Arizona and must contact the liaison representative for their area. Please go to the Devil Pups website for information.

Our grandson wants to go next year. In order to do this he must apply and if chosen would go back as an "eagle". An "eagle" helps the instructors with whatever they may need.

The following is from the Devil Pups website.

What is Devil Pups?

Devil Pups is an non-profit organization designed to help boys and girls from all backgrounds gain self-confidence and learn to take responsibility for their actions. Devil Pups is not a Marine Corps sponsored program. The program is not a “mini boot camp” para-military or recruiting organization for the Marine Corps. Encampment Commanders are employees of Devil Pups, Inc.

At a camp comprising 10 days of challenge, teamwork, discipline and education, boys and girls between the ages of 14 and 17 learn cooperation and respect for the dignity of others, regardless of race, creed, color or national origin.

Activities during the 10 day program include conditioning exercises, first aid instruction, leadership classes, organized recreation, a bivouac (camping out) and swimming. About 85 percent of non-swimmers learn to swim. Also, the Pups attend educational lectures on the importance of self-confidence, teamwork, drug and alcohol abuse and the importance of goals in life.

A Devil Pup gains insight into the principles on which the United States was founded, thus enhancing pride in his or her country and its flag. A Devil Pup learns how to be a better citizen and at the same time gains a greater measure of his or her own self-worth.

The Devil Pups Program is a demanding physical and academic good citizenship program for young teenagers. It is important to mention that the program is more mental than physical; reflecting the “whole person” concept. The program foundations are intellectual, spiritual, social and physical.

An interested boy or girl and/or their parents living in California, Arizona, or Nevada should contact their nearst Devil Pup Liaison Representative to determine eligibility. Each area is given a specific quota of participants to admit.

Our grandson has the proudest parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and friends.

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