WIESBADEN, Germany - The results of the Teen Center's June Food for Thought survey screamed from the page.
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"We want swimming. We want fitness classes. We want rock climbing and bowling and horseback riding."
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Wiesbaden's Venturepoint specialist Steven Hall smiled at the laundry list of activities.
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Wiesbaden youths may be living in Germany, a world away from their Stateside counterparts, but that shouldn't diminish the opportunities for fun, Hall said.
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In June, Family, Morale, Welfare and Recreation and Child, Youth and School Services started pilot programs for The Edge! - a year-round program designed to provide young people with access to free "cutting-edge activities" like those requested by Wiesbaden teens.
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"The primary focus is to make sure teens aren't sitting around bored all summer," said Aaron Chapuis, Wiesbaden's youth program director.
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"We're just trying to make sure all teens have something positive to do all summer and throughout the year."
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The Edge! takes youths to planned activities within the Wiesbaden community and at FMWR facilities such as the Wiesbaden Bowling Center, Rheinblick Golf Course, Outdoor Recreation, the Wiesbaden Fitness Center and the Wiesbaden Arts and Crafts Center.
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"It's all about letting the kids have the same opportunities, if not more opportunities than they would in the States," said Hall.
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The Edge! is also another push by CYSS and FMWR to engage school-age children in more activities.
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"The goal is to reach more kids and serve more kids," said Chapuis.
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According to CYSS, military teen centers in Europe are reaching about one in five middle-school-age teens with regular programming.
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The goal is to reach 35 percent of middle school teens - a goal that Wiesbaden CYSS officials say their programming is already accomplishing. The Edge! simply adds to the activities CYSS offers through its newly renovated Teen Center and additional programs such as Youth Services Sports and Skies Unlimited.
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About The Edge!
The Edge! activities last for four-week sessions. All activities are staffed with an FMWR instructor and a CYSS staff member. Each activity provides a snack for participants.
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Transportation from the Hainerberg SAS and Hainerberg Youth Services Teen Center departs at 2:30 p.m. and returns by 5:30 p.m.
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This summer, the Wiesbaden Edge! is offering two programs - one for teens and another for children in SAS Summer Camp.
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Teen Edge!
The Edge! for Teens is open to youths ages 12-18. Participants must be registered with Wiesbaden CYSS before enrollment in any Edge! activity. The registration is simply a way to enter a child into the CYSS system. There are no fees associated with the registration or with The Edge! programming. Some activities will take place on the economy in Wiesbaden with CYSS staff present.
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With The Edge! teens can stay busy with anime drawing lessons on Wednesdays, golf lessons from a professional golf instructor on Mondays or Fridays and bowling on Tuesdays.
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SAS Edge!
This summer's SAS Edge! for youths ages 6-11 is a pilot program and limited to children enrolled in the CYSS SAS Summer Camp.
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But Edge! programming for youths ages 6-11 will have general enrollment this fall, said Hall.
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SAS members are enjoying Zumba lessons, boot camps, wall climbing, puppet workshops, bowling and a Kids Fit program.

New FMWR apprenticeships get teen beyond Hired!
Child, Youth and School Services and Family, Morale, Welfare and Recreation facilities have teamed up to offer teens a taste of the real world.

Hired! offers teens ages 15-18 apprenticeship positions at FMWR facilities.

Hired! is designed to help teens build a resume with job skills and goals and asks teens to think beyond the "getting hired" stage.

"Hired is geared toward those kids with future goals of college or a career path," said Steven Hall, Venturepoint specialist.

Teens are required to attend three professional development classes before being accepted into the Hired! program.

The Youth Services Teen Center offers such classes weekly which include topics such as Communication in the Workplace, Appropriate Workplace Attire, Equal Employment Opportunity, Interviewing Techniques and Resume Writing.

The apprenticeships require teens to work 15 hours a week for 12 weeks.

University recognition
Kansas State University has agreed to recognize the program and will issue each participant who completes the program a certificate of completion and each teen a $500 cash school award.

The new term for Hired! begins July 5.

Visit www.armygermany.com to download an application for the Hired! program.

On the applications, teens should put in their top three choices of FMWR facilities for which they'd like to work.

For more information on Hired! contact Steven Hall at steven.d.hall@eur.army.mil.

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16