“Who wants to go first?” yells Matt Gordon. Dozens of little six and seven year old hands go up. “Are you READY?” Matt’s excitement is contagious to the children as he winds his way through an obstacle course that he and his partner Paul Greenleaf put together. Of course, he is closely followed by more than two dozen children, the first wave of children for an hour- long Tarzan Camp.
The children are part of Camp Mackle. “We will hold the Tarzan Camp every Friday from 10:00-11:00. Our goal is to provide challenging events, build confidence and self-esteem, and offer a teambuilding experience. We will provide plenty of options. As an example, a child can jump a series of six inch hurdles today, but in a few weeks, with practice, they might make the one and a half foot ones easily,” says Matt. The kids obviously love the program Matt and Paul developed.
Matt and Paul both served in the Marine Corps. They met at the Police Academy and are serving in law enforcement now. Paul said, “We have a passion for the patriotic, which led us to form our own business, Nationwide Honor Guard.” Nationwide Honor Guard is available to ‘present colors’ at various functions orevents including funerals as requested. “Our primary goal here is to develop youth in a patriotic manner. We offer more than physical fitness courses. We can teach elementary school aged programs to developing honor guard units that present colors at Major League Sporting events. Most of us are familiar with the National Anthem sung before each game, but do not know what the different parts of a flag mean? There is so much more to a flag, than just raising or lowering it and we want to get the information and knowledge out there as to what patriotism means.”
“We have to thank Mackle Park andthe City of Marco Island for allowing us to put this together for the kids. We plan on holding spirit runs, capture the flag games and obstacle courses in order to build confidence in youth. We will set up stations, each with its own unique challenges. The kids LOVE it,” said Matt. Matt and Paul will be participating with Camp Mackle throughout the summer.
“The camp counselors and teenagers love the concept too and are asking that we put on a boot camp for them in the Fall,” said Mindy Gordon, Recreation Manager for Parks and Rec. “We are excited to offer this challenge to the kids.”
“ARE…YOU…READY!?” asks Matt Gordon.