The Maine Maritime Academy Sponsor Family Program offers members of the Castine and other local communities the opportunity to meet midshipmen and become an integral part of the leadership development of our students. The goals of the program are to provide midshipmen additional support, mentorship, and knowledge within the local community, as well as providing a home away from home to the students. Overall, the program is structured to give midshipmen exposure to the local area and to make cadets’ integration into Academy life easier.
Incoming midshipmen are given the option to apply for the program during the summer prior to the Regimental Preparatory Training (RPT). RPT is the Maine Maritime Academy version of boot camp and prepares the Midshipmen Under Guidance (MUGs) for life as a member of the Regiment of Midshipmen. MUGs must live on campus for the duration of RPT, normally a week, and cannot have visitors during that time. However, following Ship Jump (the traditional end of RPT), MUGs are given some free time. “Campus” is defined as the entirety of the town of Castine located on the peninsula, from the British Canal to either the Bagaduce or Penobscot Bay, so it is possible for a MUG to visit with their sponsor family in town and not leave campus. After the Regimental Induction Ceremony held in October on the long weekend, midshipmen are allowed to leave campus and can fully embrace the sponsor family program.
Non-regimental students also sign up in the summer prior to their arrival and can benefit from the sponsor family program as well. They arrive just prior to Ship Jump and are not restricted to campus, giving them a little more flexibility to meet with sponsor families earlier.
We recognize that some midshipmen may require more support than others, and some may live close enough to be able to go home after the Regimental Induction Ceremony. Midshipmen who do not sign up for the program initially have the option to join the program and request for a sponsor family at a later time depending on their needs.
Each year we ask that local families complete the online application form. Providing your interests will allow MMA to match you with midshipmen with similar interest. During the fall, we will have a gathering to introduce all midshipmen with their sponsor families. For any questions, please contact LCDR Kelly Gualtieri, firstname.lastname@example.org.
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