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I am lucky to live in a small community and spend a
lot of time with the youth on flag ceremonies etc.
One program I have been involved in for 25 years is called "Freedom
Academy." MG Watts (my old boss) started this program in Utah.
We have recruited a large group of civic leaders, business owners and
Entrepreneurs who sponsor the financial end of this event. We invite the
new student body presidency of each high school in the state (usually 3 students
per school= over 100 schools) to attend a five day camp at the National Guard
training site. This is not a recruiting event by any means, but is
conducted by volunteers out of uniform.
The curriculum includes a:
- visit to the Supreme Court and Senate at the state capitol building- freedoms
- half a day at the prison with inmates on death row - loss of freedom and it's
- meeting with the local press reps from each station - freedom of the press
- meeting with a religious representatives of each denomination - freedom of
The list goes on and on. The event culminates
with a patriotic essay contest and banquet where the parents return to pick up
their enlightened students. The whole program is designed to provide the
tools, incentive and materials to have each student body return to their high
school in the coming year with a commitment to host a citizenship/patriotic
assembly week at their high school and continue to help the students understand
our responsibilities as good citizens/Americans, future leaders and voters.
I have had many (including our current Governor) tell me it was one of the most
memorable experiences they ever had in high school.