MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. --
As May begins to unleash the full force of the Southern California sun, Camp Pendleton leaders are prepared for the potential peak in accidents the warmer weather can bring.
Aimed at prevention and education, Marine Corps Community Services Camp Pendleton is set to kick off the 2009 “101 Days of Summer Challenge” scheduled for May 18 through Sept. 1.
According to the MCCS Web site, the program strives to raise awareness of substance abuse, educate service members regarding the danger and consequences of illicit drug use, promote responsible alcohol use, and offer fun, healthy alternatives as a viable option.
“The 101 Days of Summer Challenge looks at the accidents and mishaps that occur over the summer and tries to prevent some of those from happening. We try to keep safety the focus throughout the summer,” said Nicole M. Preston, health promotion director, MCCS Semper Fit Health Promotions. The 101 Days of Summer events promote unit cohesion, physical fitness and entertainment that do not involve alcohol, she added.
The program includes a variety of unit competitions, giveaways, entertainment and educational opportunities. Points are awarded to units for participation and excellence in various events with safety themes such as urinalysis testing, safety and health briefs, physical fitness challenges, group sporting tournaments and barbeques and movie nights provided by the Single Marine Program.
The format of this year’s challenge is identical to last year’s, although three new events have been added.
The new events include two SMP movie nights, a functional fitness challenge and an evening Sports Jam. The functional fitness test is a small-team based competition. It includes exercises that will help Marines prepare for the Combat Fitness Test. The Sports Jam will wrap up the 101 Days of Summer, including sporting events from 5 p.m. until all events are complete that night.
The 101 Days of Summer Challenge is sponsored by several MCCS programs, the Drug Demand Reduction Program and base safety.
“With 101 Days of Summer, we want to increase safety awareness throughout the 101 days,” said Philip Bowers, deputy director, base safety, MCB Camp Pendleton. Just one aspect of the 101 Days of Summer, many Marines and families go to the beach during the warmer weather. We stress ORM, operational risk management, to decrease recreational causalities. The program has helped to reduce these incidents, Bowers added.
The Health Promotion Team, located in the Paige Fieldhouse and the 53 Area Fitness Center, will accept registrations as late as July 8; although, units can only begin earning points after their registration is received. The sooner units turn in their registrations, the sooner they can start earning points.
Units will be separated into three divisions, based on size. The first and second place in each division will be rewarded with unit recreational funds.
Division One >700 1st place $1250, 2nd place $1000
Division Two 300-699 1st place $1000, 2nd place $750
Division Three <300 1st place $750, 2nd place $500
Program details, a full list of events and registration forms are available online at www.mccscp.com/home/recreation/Health_Promotion.aspx. Click on the 101 Days of Summer link.