Spring break activities keep children busy
March 24, 2011
FORT SILL, Okla. -- Many area children stayed local during spring break week, but they didn't stay still.
All school age children from the kindergartners enrolled in the child development center spring camp to the teens in the youth center Boots On camp, got outside and active March 14-18.
For the kindergartners at Cooper Child Development Center, there were kickball tournaments, fishing, picnics and playground fun. The children have been on the go throughout the week," said Robin Garrett, Cooper CDC director. "They had a kickball tournament and they had a blast with that. Then they went fishing in our pond by the center and they caught maybe eight big catfish. They absolutely loved that. They also had a picnic with the fishing trip, and Friday they are going to the playground for a picnic and to play on the new playground."
Several hourly-care children in kindergarten also attended the spring break activities while at the center.
For children in grades first through fifth at the school age center, the theme was "Spring into Spring Fitness Challenge" and everything the youngsters did throughout the week was fitness-related including Wii fitness exercises and walking.
"The children challenged each other in fitness events and spent a lot of time on the playground and in the gym doing fitness exercises to increase upper and lower body strength," said Cathy Singleton, SAC education technician. The children in the center also celebrated St. Patrick's Day by making four-leaf clover necklaces, and they made green Jell-O with fruit inside for the cooking project."
Teens at the youth center "Boots On" camp got a taste of what deployment was like.
"We have a great partnership with our Comanche County 4-H office and Lexie Hays told me that there was curriculum targeted directly for military kids so I went to the website and found the Boots On curriculum," said Brooke Wilson, youth center director.
Wilson said the camp activities was meant to be a longer process, but staff member Jeannie Lawrence was able to cut it down to fit the spring break camp.
"She did a fantastic job cutting it down for the few hours a day that the camp lasted. The week started off by getting to know each other, pre-deployment activities and paperwork, during deployment activities, and ended with post deployment activities and paperwork," said Wilson.
Staff Sgt. Joshua Dicicco, F Battery, 1st Battalion, 31st Field Artillery, drill sergeant, visited the campers and took them on a tour of barracks.
"He put a little reality in them with some drill sergeant activities," said Wilson.
"The kids absolutely loved it. He taught them a lot and answered questions. After their tour, it was back to the center for lunch, which were MREs. It was really fun watching the teens make their lunch out of the little bags and discuss who had what and what was good and not so good."
For one activity, the campers were each given a battle buddy -- an egg, which they had to decorate, name and make sure was safe at all times.
"It was really an overall great experience for the teens who signed up and the staff involved," said Wilson. "It was amazing to hear the teens discuss their stories of being a military teen and talk about their parent's deployments. That's exactly what we wanted."
Elsewhere on post other facilities had activities for youths, such as Nye Library's make-a-craft day for families with younger children.
Youngsters made egg carton caterpillars, did finger painting, crafted flowers from magazine cut outs, created a pot o' gold craft for St. Patrick's Day; and a formed a mosaic for the last day's activity, said Jill Manley, library technician.
"The craft day went well, and we had several families enjoy a bit of creative time together," Manley said.