Camp offers children fun, 'character counts'
July 14, 2010
CASEY GARRISON, South Korea - Children from kindergarten through fifth grade are gathering on Red Cloud Garrison every weekday for nine weeks this summer to learn and play at a summer camp sponsored by Child and Youth School Services, a division of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation's Army Community Service.
Each week the camp activities feature a special theme. The week of June 28 featured a theme of Hip, Hip, Hooray USA, a title about America and its founding being the fourth of July. Activities included visiting an "Art Farm" where the children experienced a petting zoo of small animals and farm animals.
June 30 the children visited the Casey Garrison Community Activity Center to begin the day with games. Afterward they moved to the lanes at Camp Hovey for lunch and bowling as part of their Hip, Hip, Hooray USA theme.
"Camp Adventure is educational and not just fun and games," said Marie Johnson, Army Community Services Child, Youth and School Services director. "They learn songs, they learn to communicate with other children and get along with other children, they learn to work as a team and it is fun."
In all the activities the children do during Camp Adventure they have to work together on different projects, said Cindy York, CYS Liaison, Education and Outreach Services director.
"It is socialization and communication including something called 'character counts,'" Johnson said. "This is part of our CYSS program."
The 'character counts' aspect implemented by CYSS in Camp Adventure teaches children the Army Core Values so they can understand them, she said.
Camp Adventure began the week of June 21 when Department of Defense Education Activity schools closed for summer vacation and many people began taking leave, causing registration to decline from 2009. Johnson said it accounts for the initial 34 enrollments - only half of the total from the same period last year.
Children attend Camp Adventure on a weekly basis and parents can enroll them any time during the nine weeks. The tuition varies according to the parents' financial status.
"We go bowling, swimming and take major field trips every week and the tuition includes all their meals, which were not included last year," Johnson said.
Camp counselors all have camp names to go along with their counselor functions. Kevin "Mr. Thunder" Wu is from California and teaches the children games and songs to show them a good time. Jennifer "Ms. Lightning" Engler is the camp programmer and director. She does most of the paperwork involved with the camp. La Keisha "Ms. Pepper" Burton from California is a camp counselor who provides songs and games for the children, and helps them with their homework.
The camp counselors, who come from various universities in the United States, received extensive training about how to guide the children through activities while showing them a wonderful time, York said.
"It is very important for parents to sign their children up for Camp Adventure in our Parent Central office, which used to be named the Central Registration office," Johnson said.