By Sgt. David CoxJuly 31, 2013
FORT CAMPBELL, Ky -- Soldiers with 4th Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, volunteered as camp counselors, July 21 to 27, at Green Camp, an environmental-themed camp, which was held at Camp Hinsch at Fort Campbell, Ky.
The Currahees worked at the week-long camp, which was held at the Fort Campbell Campground and was opened to military children ages 9 to 12.
Green Camp was the last camp of the summer season.
In addition to traditional fun that encompasses summer camp, the attendees also had environmental themed classes, games and trips.
Though it is not unusual for children to attend seasonal camps, this camp reinforced the importance of conservation within the community.
Shirley West, the executive director for Fort Campbell's Armed Services YMCA, said that Green Camp differs from "traditional" camps because Green Camp is designed to bring awareness of the need to protect and preserve our environment.
"We do a lot of the same activities as a traditional camp with a focus on conservation and environmental awareness," said West. "Hopefully [the attendees] will take away some information that they can use and pass on to their parents to help raise awareness of the importance of being Green."
The Currahee volunteers understood another significance of the camp; the camp benefited children of fellow Soldiers.
"This camp is different than other camps because it's run by Soldiers for the children of Soldiers," said U.S. Army 1st Lt. Elizabeth Pham, the rear detachment operations officer in charge with 1st Squadron, 61st Cavalry Regiment, 4th BCT, 101st Abn. Div.
Along with learning about conservation, the campers also formed strong bonds with the volunteers.
"The children loved the camp. They were crying about not wanting to leave at the end. They formed friendships with each other," said Pham.
The volunteers were also impacted by the camp's central theme; bringing awareness to environment.
"Conservation is important because the earth has limited resources and we should conserve those resources as long as possible," said U.S. Army Spc. Jovaneeleo Anderson, a Signal Support Systems Specialist with Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 1st Sqdn., 61st Cav. Regt.
"You want to get [kids] started early so it actually becomes a habit, not something they feel forced to do."
West, expressed her gratitude to Fort Campbell, the Currahees and other volunteers who made the camp experience possible.
"I would like to thank all of those who have helped to make this camp possible. These [camps] would not be available each year without the support we receive from Fort Campbell. We would not be able to offer this camp without their continuing support," she said.
"Also, without the funding we receive from the Newman's Own Foundation Green Camp would not have been possible. I want to give a huge thanks to all the awesome volunteer counselors of 4th BCT and the other support staff who came out during the week to help. Thanks to Blanchfield Army Community Hospital for our wonderful nurses. The 159th Combat Aviation Brigade provided us with three great Soldiers to prepare our meals each day. Thank to you all. Last but certainly not least, thanks to my bus driver and camp assistant for all the help and support they gave to make this week possible."