Carved pumpkins are displayed after the 2019 Single Marine Program pumpkin carving contest at Camp Foster, Okinawa, Japan, Oct. 19, 2019. The Contest is held in order to show Marines one way to safely have fun this upcoming holiday season. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Samuel Brusseau)
Carved pumpkins are displayed after the 2019 Single Marine Program pumpkin carving contest at Camp Foster, Okinawa, Japan, Oct. 19, 2019. The Contest is held in order to show Marines one way to safely have fun this upcoming holiday season. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Samuel Brusseau)

Camp Foster SMP hosts pumpkin carving contest

by Cpl. Samuel Brusseau
Marine Corps Installations Pacific

CAMP FOSTER, OKINAWA, Japan – Members of the U.S. community living on the island of Okinawa, Japan took part in a pumpkin carving contest Oct. 19, at the Camp Foster Single Marine Program center.

The contest was held to strengthen the bond between Marines on Okinawa through a fun seasonal competition, and to show the participants safe ways to take part in the Halloween season festivities.

Similar contests were also held throughout Marine Corps Installations Pacific to include Marine Corps Air Station Futenma and Combined Arms Training Center Camp Fuji.

“I think it’s imperative that we reach out to our brothers and sisters, and get them to have some fun away from the barracks.” said Cpl. Terria M. Jones, a Marine assigned to 3rd Transportation Support Battalion, 3rd Marine Logistics Group.

Marines got to share the experience of carving pumpkins together while under a hour-long time limit, while few Marines chose to carve their own pumpkins, others decided to bring a partner along, or work in teams.

“It was my first time actually carving a pumpkin,” said Lance Cpl. Michael Nidds, also assigned to 3rd TSB, 3rd MLG. “Luckily my friends decided to come with and show me the basics and I think we managed to pull something pretty neat together.”

To decide a winner among the participants, judges from the SMP on the island of Okinawa will host online voting on their Facebook page for prizes including seasonal candles, a portable speaker, and a horror novel of their choice.

Many of the Marines that participated in the event plan to come back to the SMP for future activities involving the holiday season.

"I hope that little events like these go to show other Marines and even other service members that SMP has lots of fun stuff planned out for us,” said Lance Cpl. Lexi Kuchera, a supply administration specialist with Headquaters and Support Battalion. “It’s not just contests there’s organized trips too.”

For further information on upcoming events from the Single Marine Program in your area, please visit https://mccsokinawa.com/smp/ or search for your local SMP on Facebook.

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