Fort Rucker EDGE! expands activities for youth
Trevez Sandoval tries out tubing for the first time on Lake Tholocco last July as an EDGE! program participant. Activities this month include archery, badminton and tubing for children ages 11-18. For more information, call 255-0666.

FORT RUCKER, Ala. -- Teenagers and children can live life on the "EDGE!" through an expanding youth program here.

EDGE!, a free Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation program, provides youth with art, fitness, life skills and adventure activities, according to Denise Honeycutt, DFMWR partnership specialist. The acronym stands for Experience, Develop, Grow and Excel.

All activities take place from 3 to 6 p.m. on specified days throughout July, she said.

Tubing is conducted at Outdoor Recreation on Mondays for youth ages 14-18, and on Thursdays and Fridays for children ages 11-13. Badminton takes place Tuesdays at West Beach, Lake Tholocco for children ages 11-14 and Fridays for youth ages 15-18. Archery is held Wednesdays at the Wiregrass Archery facility on Rucker Boulevard for 11- to 18-year-olds.

"It's something new for them to do and a way to meet new people. I encourage them to go out there and bring a friend," Honeycutt said.

Staff Sgt. Gary Everett instructs archery this month. He has been involved in the sport for about 30 years and said he enjoyed watching children pick up a bow and arrow, many for the first time in early July.

He taught them techniques including aiming, drawing the bows, perfecting their positions and releasing the arrows.

"I like being outside. It's a safe sport. There's a lot to it," the 1st Battalion, 13th Aviation Regiment retention officer said.

Everett said he enjoys working with military children, and believes being taught by a servicemember - like their moms and dads - is "an extension of home."

He encouraged youth to explore archery and other EDGE! programs as positive outlets and ways to spend their free time this summer.

With Everett's and other instructors' help, EDGE! has grown steadily during its year of existence, Honeycutt said.

"Our numbers are getting better. A lot of folks are finding out about the program," she said. "Once (parents sign their children up), they really get their kids into it."

Because of EDGE!'s success, Honeycutt said staff invites 6- to 10-year-old children to join the program soon, with a cooking class beginning in September. This age group will be charged a $5 hourly fee, in accordance with Child, Youth and School Services' guidelines.

Youth should dabble in a variety of sports and hobbies to gain new experiences and develop wider interests, Honeycutt said.

"(EDGE!) is something every kid should try. Opportunities like this don't come by often," she said. "It's a wonderful opportunity to try something new with their friends."

EDGE! instructors also encourage parents to participate, to watch their children have fun and learn, which Honeycutt called a "priceless" experience.

Participant drop off and pick up is at Bldg. 2806. Valid CYSS registration is required. Enrollment for CYSS and EDGE! is located in Bldg. 5700, Rm. 130, or by calling Parent Central Services at 255-9638.

Upcoming August classes include golf, swimming techniques, paintball and Frisbee fun.
For more information, contact Honeycutt at 255-0666.

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