Marines: Preparing to Serve Part 1

Minnesota Teachers Head to California for Boot Camp

Choosing a path after high school is a challenge many juniors and seniors face.

Some know exactly what they want to do in life and others get lost in the shuffle.

The United State Marine Corps annually hosts an Educators Workshop in San Diego, California to show teachers and administrators how becoming a Marine can change a life.

Teachers screaming and Marines yelling at the teachers isn’t what you’d hear in a typical Minnesota classroom.

“It’s way tougher than I thought it was,” said Parks Rapids High School Special Education Teacher and Head Football Coach Aaron Morris, “When I did the buddy carry, the obstacle course, I thought ‘this won’t be this hard’ it’s tougher than I thought.”

The tables have turned and now the educators are the students.

“I tell ya it’s special for us because we get an opportunity to educate the educator,” said Maj. Chris Tsirlis, Commanding Officer of Recruiting Station Twin Cities.

Park Rapids Area High School employees left the Northland for sunny San Diego for a once in a lifetime experience.

It’s a miniature boot camp, narrowing three intense months into five days.

“You know didn’t even carry half the gear, but it was fun to do and experience it, but God bless our military,” said Morris.

There are United States Marine Corps Educators Workshops held throughout the year for teachers from around the nation.

A major goal is to help them better assist students making decisions about their future.

“I do have students that come up asking military questions whether that’s Navy, Army Marines. I can’t really give them the full logistics of it all, information, other than what I have in the pamphlets they give me,” said Scott Schafer a counselor for Park Rapids Area High School.

“There’s a lot of kids I deal with that are kind of stuck in the middle. College, tech college, military, I’m not gonna do anything, so it’s good to get this experience so I can replay it back to them,” said Morris.

Through many briefings and with countless questions the teachers gained the knowledge they needed.

However, it was the workouts they were really looking forward to participating in.

The week started off with a little wake up call.

They were greeted by drill instructors at the Marine Corps Recruiting Depot and took part in the legendary yellow footprints.

Through obstacle courses, a firing range and team building exercises these educators got just a little taste of the tough task ahead for high school graduates.  

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