By Sara E. Martin, Army Flier Staff WriterAugust 1, 2013
FORT RUCKER, Ala. (August 1, 2013) -- This is the time of year where most children and teens are dragging their feet a little more than usual as summer break comes to an end and each day the first day back to school looms closer, but Fort Rucker Child, Youth and School Services wants to send off summer the right way.
CYSS will be holding a Back to School Bash Aug. 17 from 6-11 p.m. at the youth center. There will be music, food, games, prizes and more, according to Eugene Johnson, CYSS youth center facility director.
"We are going to start off with a Family and staff versus children and teen baseball game," he said. "We want the children to play against the adults, whether it is an older sibling or a parent."
The game will be held on the outdoor youth baseball field at 6:15 p.m. There will be water and restrooms outside for the game.
"If parents would like to bring their younger kids to the baseball game, that is fine, but when the parents leave, then the smaller children must go with them," said Linda Ivy, youth center assistant director and trainer.
CYSS has other events planned for the bash including a basketball tournament, a raffle and a special class just for the ladies.
"We will have arts and crafts all night, and one of our staff is giving the girls a class in makeup and personal hygiene," said Ivy, adding that tie-dye and line dancing will also be a part of the activities.
CYSS registered youth are allowed to attend the event for free and are allowed to bring one guest with them. The guest will have to pay a $10 fee in cash and bring a photo identification card.
Guests have to be in the sixth through 12 grade, ages 11-18. Children do not have to bring anything, Ivy's only suggestion is to wear comfortable shoes.
"Our interactive fitness room was a hit during our lock-in last time," she said. "Kids were dancing covered in glow sticks. They had a great time."
There will be plenty of physical activities that the children can get into as well as intellectual games to keep children occupied and entertained, said Ivy, adding that food will be provided to all attendees.
"We keep them busy, and it is a chance for them to have a little fun before they go back to school," said Johnson. "This is just our last big 'hooah' event before school starts.
"When I was growing up, we had back to school dances, but I am old and that was a long time ago, so now we do bashes where we do lots of different activities," he continued with a laugh.
The center wanted to put something together for the youth in the area where they could take advantage of the facility as much as possible before school gets back in session.
"We will have music, we have different types of games, we have pool, there is so much that the kids can get into," said Johnson. "Our events keep our youth entertained and safe. We keep them in a controlled environment on Saturday nights."
Johnson said that the Back to School Bash gives parents a chance to enjoy a date night as well -- to go to a movie or spend a quiet night at home while knowing their children are having fun with their friends.
"It can be hard between duty and housework and taking care of the children to get a night where they can enjoy each other's company," he said. "It makes it easier for the Soldier to relax. They know where their older children are."
Johnson suggests that if teens want to have a fun-filled evening where they don't spend it alone at the house watching TV, then come out and have a good time with friends.
Parents are asked to pick up their children at 11 p.m.
For more information, call the Fort Rucker Youth Center at 255-2245.