Devil Pups 10 Day Leadership Encampment
This is the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow during a student’s first year at Youth Leadership Authority. It is held at Marine Corps Base, Camp Pendleton.
Since 1954, Devil Pups Inc has been promoting this good citizen program in this leadership camp, comprising 10 days of challenge, teamwork, discipline and education for boys and girls between the ages of 14 and 17. YLA has been sending teens to this excellent leadership program for the past 17 years. It is the program that ALL teens aspire to achieve. Southern Nevada Devil Pups is known as the gold star area, sending only extremely qualified applicants who always surpass other known areas. It is because of the preliminary training programs we have made that name for ourselves.
The Devil Pups Program is a very demanding physical and academic good citizenship program for young teenagers. It is important to mention that the program is more mental than physical, reflecting the ‘whole person’ concept- just like YLA. The program foundations are intellectual, spiritual, social, and physical. The program is not a ‘mini boot camp’ or recruiting organization for the Marine Corps.
The Devil Pups Mission is to challenge, educate and help young boys and girls of all backgrounds to learn self-confidence and responsibility for their actions; with a Vision to have a powerful, positive impact on the quality of life of young men and women in the community, by educating and training them in their citizenship, moral and ethical responsibilities as they grow into adulthood.
The 10-day Devil Pups program is a combination of outdoor physical exercises, inspirational classroom lectures and demonstrations of Marine Corps operations. The activities during both increments are overseen by our Encampment Commander and his executive staff (employees of Devil Pups, Inc.). Oversight of each platoon of 50 teens (5 male platoons, and 1 female platoon per increment) is carried out by non-commissioned officers (Marines) and Navy Corpsmen who give up their “leave time” to be instructors for the program.
Each day, the running, diving, and hiking exercises are balanced with inspiring classroom
sessions with leaders such as: Charlie Bergin who was a teenage Marine at the Battle of Iwo Jima; and former NBA Forward Brad Wright, who credits Devil Pups with turning his life around after flunking the 8th grade. Our “Role Model” classroom segments are conducted by an assortment of board members, veterans, and Devil Pups alumni.
Before they can graduate on Day 10, they must conquer the most challenging obstacle Camp Pendleton has to offer…Ole’ Smokey. It is the tallest peak on the 125,000-acre Marine Corps Base; the same peak that the new Marines hike to the top off at the end of Boot Camp. In a sunset ceremony on the mountain’s summit, they are officially christened as Devil Pups with the gift of a challenge coin, awarded with a firm handshake by their instructors. On the final day of the camp, we hold a graduation ceremony that friends and family are invited to.