Arrghh! Young pirates embark on swashbucklin' camp adventure
June 21, 2013
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FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. -- "As a crew member of the pirate ship, "The Unlimited Skies," I promise to sail the seven seas in search of treasure, adventure and fun!"
Thus, all shipmates "pledged" to follow this sacred code this week at the SkiesUnlimited Pirate Camp.
Clad in red and black bandanas and handmade belts, nearly a dozen young pirates embarked on a great, grand adventure.
"A good pirate has discipline; they can follow orders; they can learn new things," said Pirate Capt. Ashley Cornett Tuesday morning. "Some kids are learning how to cut, some kids are learning how to trace, some kids are learning how to follow directions."
First order of business: The young pirate crew faced a critical challenge in the game "Captain Simon Says."
"Captain Simon says 'do five jumping jacks,'" said Capt. Ashley and each crew member complied.
"Touch your toes."
About half the young pirates followed the command, and thus, made a blunder.
"Captain Simon didn't say 'touch your toes,'" grinned Capt. Ashley, followed by an echo of disappointed sighs.
Ahoy mateys! That's nothing a few gold doubloons couldn't remedy.
Each crew member received three coins and instructed to toss them one by one into one of three buckets adorned with either a parrot, a pirate ship or a map.
"These are things that pirates use all of the time. You can't go on your treasure trip if you don't have your treasure map," Capt. Ashley said. "And, your parrot is your best friend."
In turn, the pirates tossed their coins one at a time. After two rounds, Samuel "Pegleg Pete" Murrell, 4, banked all three into the buckets.
Jason "Dead Dog Jones" Simmons, 6, was ready to up the ante and "go treasure hunting for gold doubloons," but Capt. Ashley and Capt. Lacey Clark had other plans mapped out for their crew.
The final task of the day's journey was not for any lily-livered landlubber. Each pirate was tasked to walk the plank (a balance beam positioned about four feet off the mat-covered floor)!
With a little help from Pirate Capt. Lacey, each barefoot soul spread his and her arms to the side and marched across the four-inch wide, 16 foot long timber.
"I almost fall," said 4-year-old Jade "Lady Goldenhair" Simmons, then smiled after completing the supervised and safe feat unscathed.
Her fellow pirate, Jordan "Monster Dog" Buchanan, 5, insisted that the final task, "The big one -- is fun."
The mission for each of the crewmembers was accomplished with a hearty triumph of success.
"I like to see them gain independence," Capt. Lacey said.
The pirate adventure just started Tuesday for the young Jacks and Lasses! The crew was set to design a kid-friendly Jolly Roger flag for their ship and launch a scavenger hunt in search of treasures before the end of the week.
"You can learn how to do things in a fun way. You can learn how to cut something out, if you know you're going to make a sword. You can learn how to glue if you're making a really cool parrot that's going to sit on your arm," Capt. Ashley said. "Hopefully, they are learning something about adventure, [too.]"
For pirate David "Redbeard" Wiser, the camp has been swashbucklin' fun.
"We made parrots. We create a sword," the 6-year-old said. "It's being fun. Arrghh!"