DFMWR events provide summer fun for Fort Rucker youth
Andrew Parker gets some help from his SKIES advanced boys’ gymnastics instructor, Chara Beightol, on the rings at the child, youth and school services center last summer.

FORT RUCKER, Ala. -- School is out, summer vacation is in full swing and there are plenty of fun activities to keep Fort Rucker children busy all summer long.

During the summer, Directorate of Family, Morale Welfare and Recreation’s Child, Youth and School Services offers weekly camps, daily classes and fun activities for children of all ages, from toddlers to teens, said Kathy Vickers, acting coordinator of Child, Youth and School Services.

Children have no reason to be bored at home over their summer break, said Vickers.

She said some of the most popular summer programs are the classes offered through Schools of Knowledge, Inspiration, Exploration and Skills Unlimited. The SKIES program offers children ages four weeks old to adolescence instructional classes in a variety of areas, including swimming, gymnastics, golf, tennis, dance and Tae Kwon Do. Classes are filled on a first-come, first-served-basis.

Vickers said SKIES’ most popular class, swimming, taught 450 children how to swim last summer. She said swimming lessons are taught by water safety instructors at Flynn Pool.

Vickers also mentioned a DFMWR partnership program called the Edge, where children are given the opportunity to experience all the activities available on the installation through DFMWR, including tubing and wake boarding at Lake Tholocco, sewing, photography, ceramics, pottery, Frisbee golf, aerobics classes and more.

She said participation in the Edge program costs $5 an hour for children ages 6-10, but that it is free for children ages 11-18. Different activities are offered to different age groups daily.

Week-long summer camps are also offered for school-aged children, middle school-aged children and teens at the Fort Rucker Youth Center. Tricia Oates, assistant director of CYSS, said the summer programs are a great way to keep children safe and entertained during the summer.

Oates said the camps are all day from Monday through Friday and offer children a variety of activities each day.

“The camp is structured around a ‘child’s choice’ schedule, where children are allowed to rotate through different activities at their own choosing,” she said. “They can choose whether they want to do arts and crafts or sports and exercise, watch a movie, go swimming or play pool. Whenever they get tired of one activity, they let a staff member know and we let them move on to another.”

The camps also include optional fieldtrips to Panama City, where the children will go to Wonder Works, Shipwreck Island Water Park, the zoo or Golf World, she said.

“The weeklong camp’s dynamics are, ‘boom! Off the wall,’” Oates said excitedly. ”The kids love it.”

In order for children to participate in any of the summer activities, they must be registered with CYSS, said Vickers. Parents can register their children and find more information about summer activities at the Parent Central Services office in Bldg. 5700, Rm. 130. More information may also be found on Facebook on the Fort Rucker CYSS group page and at http://ftruckermwr.com.

Page last updated Thu June 16th, 2011 at 11:09