By Sara E. Martin, Army Flier Staff WriterMay 16, 2013
FORT RUCKER, Ala. (May 16, 2013) -- Summer vacation can often leave children hungry for entertainment and excitement, so Fort Rucker Child and Youth School Services offers many events and trips for children and teens to keep their minds and bodies active.
The Schools of Knowledge, Inspiration, Exploration and Skills program offers many ways for children to build confidence, self control and self esteem, said Sheila Shepard, SKIES instructional program specialist.
"Our SKIES programs are non-competitive, fun and enjoyable," she said. "When children are busy and involved in activities, they seem to be able to be more productive, and better at handling stress, peer pressure and overcoming obstacles that they face daily."
Any child that is registered with CYSS can be signed up for SKIES.
"Parents may enroll their child in any activity and as many activities that they prefer," Shepard said. "Parents must register their child at parent central services in Bldg. 5700, Rm. 193," Shepard explained. "Parents must have a copy of a current immunization record and health physical."
The SKIES program is different from off-post curriculums because of the price.
"We try to offer the best instruction for the lowest cost," she said. "We try very hard to offer a wide variety of activities that will interest everyone. Each member of our staff is qualified, educated and certified in their area."
Some of the courses offered this summer are:
• Boxing on Wednesdays from 5-6 p.m.
• Tutor in math and reading on Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Fee is $38 a month.
• Piano and guitar lessons on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. SKIES will furnish the instrument. The class is a one-on-one 30-minute lesson. Fee is $53.
• Golf on Tuesdays from 8-8:30 a.m. Fee is $22 a month.
• Tennis on Wednesdays from 7:45-8:30 a.m. Fee is $22 a month.
• Zumbatonics on Mondays from 4-5:15 p.m. Fee is $15 a month.
• Tae Kwon Do on Tuesdays and Thursdays 3-3:30 p.m. for 3-5 year olds, 3:45-4:15 p.m. for 6-7 year olds, 4:15-4:45 p.m. for 8-9 year olds and 5-6 p.m. for 10 to 18 year olds. Fee is $25 a month for a 30-minute class and $38 a month for a 60-minute session.
The youth center at Bldg. 2800 will hold summer camps from May 28 to August 16. Breakfast and lunch will be served during the camps, which is included in the price.
"The camps start every morning at 7 a.m. and go to 1 p.m. After 1 p.m., we go into our open recreation, which is free," said Eugene Johnson, youth center facility director, adding that open recreation will be all day on Saturdays.
"We will be doing as many inside things as outside things, so children never get tired of something," he continued. "Besides learning a new hobby, the teens will be exposed to leadership opportunities, expand their understanding of the four core school subjects and they will better their interpersonal skills."
There will also be mini-camps where the children will choose what they want to do.
"Some of the activities include archery, swimming, arts and crafts, building rockets, cooking, a multitude of sports, sewing, photography, robotics and jewelry making," Johnson said.
Field trips will also be a part of the camp. Food will be provided for campers on trips, so extra money will not be needed to be sent with them.
"Our program is on the cutting edge and one way we show that is the amount of trips we are going on. Sometimes two or more a week," said Pam Williams, coordinator for CYSS.
Trips for the camps include, but are not limited to, Wonderworks, Big Kahuna's, Water World, Ripley's Believe it or Not, Shipwreck Island and Montgomery Zoo.
Children must be enrolled in the camps to go on the field trip for that week, said Johnson.
The camp rates are determined by parent income, ranging from $26 to $70 a week, and include all trips.
"We will separate the younger children from the older teens when we go on trips. When one group is out the other will stay here and do a mini-camp and vice versa," said Linda Ivy, teen assistant director and training specialist.
Williams said that the participants will never be bored at the camp, and that they will always be engaged.
"They will have new experiences and will meet new friends, and may even become part of new groups. They can even learn new skills," she said. "They will learn confidence and how to deal with others through tolerance and in a peaceable way without name calling or bullying."
Camp registration is now open. For more information or to register, call 255-2243.