The parents have a daughter in the 7th grade and kids at the school in grades 7-8 will next month be subjected to two days of a program called "Maine Counter Drug Task Force" that is now in its third year of operation. In 2006 the MANG visited 47 schools and had contact with 4,700 kids.
The second-step is an overnight camp out in rural Maine at a MANG training facility. As the MANG Sergeant showed photos and described the "experience," all I could see was a mini-boot camp where they teach the kids "teamwork" on ropes courses and repelling walls.
The school guidance counselor kept talking about how much fun the kids have and how parents are invited to come along. In past years, to get the schools hooked, MANG said it was all free to the schools. Now the parents are being asked to raise funds for the bus transportation to the boot camp.
I kept thinking about the Pentagon's growing need for access to young minds as they plan endless war and a future of "security export" for our nation. The military knows that because we won't be having industrial jobs anymore in the U.S. working class kids at schools like Woolwich Central School will have no real job future. So the MANG becomes the rich uncle and offers to take the kids away for the weekend for some fun and frolic in the woods. It's all harmless they tell us.
As local schools face growing fiscal crisis look for the rich uncle, dressed in camouflage fatigues, to come knocking on the school house doors alot more often. After all it's MANG who has access to the big money these days.