Spring camp offers hours of entertainment
Sarah Mayo, 9, daughter of Maj. Mary Mayo, health services officer, U.S. Army Reserve Command G-1, rides down a slide head-first April 9 during a trip to the playground during the Child Youth and Schools Services spring break camp. The week-long camp gave children plenty of opportunities for fun and making new friends.

It wasn't a typical spring break trip, but that didn't keep it from being fun.

Over the course of April 5 through 9, children from Fort McPherson got a chance to take a trip to the Child Youth and Schools Services spring break camp at the Youth Services Center.

The camp was geared for children ages 6 through 12, said Joyce Matthews, spring break counselor and former pre-kindergarten teacher at CYSS.

While the time was consistent, activities varied each day, Matthews said. Activities included bowling, miniature golf, basketball and dodgeball, as well as tabletop games, such as air hockey, pool and table tennis, Matthews said.

The children also got a chance to help out in the kitchen by learning how to make watermelon slushies and ice cream sundaes.

"The children really liked the cooking activities," Matthews said.

Arts and crafts were also offered to give the children a chance to show their creativity, Matthews said. While the camp did have a schedule of events, days also included blocks of free time to give the children chances to create their own fun, Matthews said.

"As long as they were supervised, they had some free reign," Matthews said. Popular choices included watching a movie while snacking on popcorn and playing video or board games.

Even though free time supervision wasn't as strict as during group activities, the children managed to socialize well, taking turns and being respectful of one another, said Ada France, spring break counselor.

"They got along well together.

Some exchanged (phone) numbers," said Matthews. Marina Giesecke, 8, daughter of Cynthia Giesecke, Army Family Team Building/Army Family Action Plan specialist, said making new friends was one of her favorite things at the camp, other than eating good food and getting a strike while bowling at the Strike Zone on Fort McPherson.

Among her new friends was Sarah Mayo, 9, daughter of Maj. Mary Mayo, health services officer for U.S. Army Reserve Command G-1.

The two said they enjoyed hanging out together and playing cheerleader while outside.

Caleb Whitehead, 8, son of Col. Cheryl Taylor-Whitehead, commander, Lawrence Joel U.S. Army Health Clinic, said he also enjoyed meeting new kids.

Caleb attended the last three days of camp with his twin sister Kayla, and said he will miss many of the new friends he made.

The kids may have the opportunity to meet their new friends again this summer when CYSS holds its summer camp, Matthews said.

The camp, which is scheduled to begin June 1, will further expand opportunities for fun for kids, Matthews added.

In addition to field trip opportunities and swimming at the community pool, Matthews said she looks forward to adding some of her own ideas, including a scavenger hunt, to the next camp.

Page last updated Tue April 20th, 2010 at 12:29