Gung-ho Girl Scouts face Marine challenges during Jane Wayne Day

by Cpl. Janessa K. Pon, III MEF/MCIPAC Consolidated Public Affairs Office
U.S. Marine Corps

CAMP KINSER, OKINAWA, Japan -- Marines, sailors and Girl Scout Troop 435 gathered for a Jane Wayne Day March 12 and the celebration of the Girl Scouts’ 104th Birthday aboard Camp Kinser.

Jane Wayne Day is an event designed to allow spouses and children to gain a better understanding of some of the physical challenges military service members face.

“Jane Wayne Day is a chance for service members to allow their families to see some of the challenges they may go through,” said 1st Sgt. Collin Barry, the company first sergeant of Communications Company, Headquarters Regiment, 3rd Marine Logistics Group, III Marine Expeditionary Force. “It gives them a great opportunity to see the physical challenges as well as some key elements in Marine operations, such as communications systems, support elements, combat fitness and the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program.”

During the event, Marines and sailors demonstrated the use of radios, MCMAP, a modified combat fitness test, medical equipment as well as chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear defense equipment.

“All of our girls here are part of the military community,” said Lindsay Lopez, a co-leader of Girl Scout Troop 435. “We brought them here to gain some understanding of what their parents or other family members in the military go through either on a daily basis or while deployed. They are all eager to experience these new challenges for themselves and learn more about what the different Marines and sailors do.”

The Girl Scouts divided into groups and visited interactive stations and participated in the various events.

“Children love pretty much anything to do with physical activity and they have a desire to learn new things every day,” said Barry, a Tucumcari, New Mexico, native. “Their passion to try new things and take on challenges presents a great opportunity for Marines to also gain understanding and perspective of the children attending. They really look up to the Marines and want to learn from them, which is really gratifying and just as inspiring to us as we are to the children.”

The groups rotated through all the interactive stations before enjoying lunch together and discussing what they had learned.

“Our main objectives we have for our girls are to assist them in building their self-confidence, selflessness and teamwork skills,” said Lopez, an Austin, Texas, native. “We do lots of teambuilding exercises and we also really emphasize community involvement and the importance of helping others. Having the Marines out here setting that example was a really great way to help the girls understand that community involvement aspect.”

After lunch, Marines demonstrated K-9 capabilities and training and the day concluded with singing “Happy Birthday” to the Girl Scouts and enjoying cake together.

“The Marine Corps is a lifestyle and we all make sacrifices, since there are times we aren’t home and instances in which we have less time to give to our families because we are serving.” said Barry. “From the reverse, it’s good for Marines to realize that the children do have some understanding for what they do and that they appreciate everything they are doing. The children really look up to them and everyone feels appreciated. Not only are we the fiercest fighting organization in the world, but we are also the classiest citizens society has to offer so the kids are able to see that and emulate that.”

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