TOPSHAM – The Young Marines of the Marine Corps League has relocated its Central Maine detachment to the Marine Corps Reserve Center in Topsham.

Lawrence Joy, executive officer, said the move will provide the youth program with the room it needs to expand while allowing more activities during winter and inclement weather.

“This is the first time in our unit’s 11-year history that we have had the direct support of the Marine Corps and we are very thankful to them for that support,” said Joy.

The Young Marine program was formed in 1958 by the Marine Corps League as its official youth action program and was adopted by the Marine Corps as the focal point of its drug demand reduction program.

The program promotes the mental, moral and physical development of youth, male and female, ages 8 to 18. Members must maintain proper grades in school or show improvement in their grades and they must maintain a drug-free lifestyle while in the program.

Interested youths must earn the title Young Marine by completing a 13-week recruit training on Saturdays at the Topsham Reserve Center, located on the grounds of the former Naval Annex and next to the Navy Commissary.

Recruits learn close order drill, customs and courtesies, Marine Corps history, uniform wear and physical fitness.

Upon graduation, they may participate in such activities as parades, camping, color guard, paintball or one of the many summer schools offered by National Headquarters at Marine Corps bases around the country.

A new recruit training cycle will begin soon. The first 30 applicants will be accepted, male or female, ages 8 to 18 with no restrictions on those with physical or mental disabilities. The cost is $25 plus uniforms.

In the Brunswick, Topsham, and Bath areas contact Lawrence or Christine Joy at 725-5428. In Lewiston, Auburn and New Gloucester, contact Roger Hull at 782-9484. For the Lisbon, Lisbon Falls, Litchfield, Bowdoin and Bowdoinham areas, contact Robert Juneau at 375-8166.

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