Photo Information

Cpl. John Renfro, a radar technician with Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron airfield electronic maintenance division races a student during a fitness challenge at Miller Elementary School, Nov. 7. The Single Marine Program holds a fitness challenge once a month to teach students educational physical fitness.

Photo by Lance Cpl. Rebecca Eller

Marines conduct physical fitness challenge for students

7 Nov 2012 | Lance Cpl. Rebecca Eller

SAN DIEGO – Volunteers with the Single Marine Program aboard Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Calif., visited Miller Elementary School for an educational physical fitness challenge Nov. 7.             

During fitness challenges, SMP volunteers attend a school in the San Diego area and take kids through a series of activities such as mock combat fitness tests, egg on a spoon races and cone challenges.            

“We go out to the schools, and we make sure that the students are actually being active,” said Cpl. Nicholas Burkhardt, volunteer representative for SMP. “We’re teaching them how to get up and actually move without having to have money.”           

SMP usually holds a fitness challenge once a month during the student’s gym time, but this particular event took place after school in conjunction with a military appreciation night.           

“I think this is a great opportunity for parents to see what the military does if they were to have a PE fitness challenge at their kids school,” said Johanna Jones, Single Marine Program coordinator.

Though the night was for the parents and students, the volunteers also enjoyed themselves. “I just love seeing smiles on their faces,” said Burkhardt. “Just seeing them being active and smiling and having fun is great.”           

Students look forward to meeting Marines and conducting physical fitness with them, because they look up to the Marines, explained Burkhardt.

“What I thought was different is that kids would actually come up to you with pens and say, ‘Can I have your autograph?’” said Burkhardt. “You haven’t done anything, but these kids will come up and ask you for your autograph.”

The Volunteers with SMP take pleasure in giving back to the community and teaching students physical fitness, but for the kids it is an opportunity to see what it is like being a Marine.