SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii -- The return of the popular weekly family night programs at both Schofield Barracks and Aliamanu Military Reservation, this month, means a busy time for the U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii's Religious Support Office.

Tuesday evenings, beginning at 5:30 p.m. at the AMR Chapel, and Wednesdays at the Schofield Barracks Main Chapel, a comprehensive weekly family resiliency program, for all ages, begins with a free dinner.

"There's a lot of energy, particularly at the beginning of the evening with the dinner," said Col. Peter Mueller, USAG-HI chaplain. "This is a big operation with dozens of people involved, ranging from unit chaplains to child care-givers to program experts."

Following dinner, a variety of classes are offered, ranging from financial workshops to parenting to marriage counseling for adults, while Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation's Child, Youth and School Services provides professional child care to the smallest members of the family.

A robust teen program features specially designed activities for young people from middle school age through high school.

If past years are any barometer, several hundred children, teens and parents will participate each week in each location. A documented 13,947 attended the sessions during 2010, for example, when the program was nominated for an Army Quality of Life Award.

"It started in 2001, after 9/11, as 'Deployment Survival Night,'" said Deborah McSwain, who has been with the program from the start and heads the Schofield Barracks effort.

McSwain then marshaled a broad range of help, using her social work background, to marshal support from garrison and community agencies for the initial effort as the first deployments neared. The result was a cohensive family resiliency program designed to address a broad range of spiritual, emotional and social needs unique to military families.

The concept took hold and eventually blossomed into weekly events. Army Community Service professionals assist with many of the programs, that include a range of workshops for the fall of 2013.

Mueller believes the connection with young people helps fuel the overall success of the program. An estimated 70-100 young people typically attend a Schofield chapel's Family Night, and that, in turn, fosters family participation.

"(U.S.) Garrison-Hawaii has, for many years, had one of the most successful youth ministry programs in the Army," Mueller said. "It connects with kids, and in turn, frees up families to meet the whole families' needs."

The Family Night program is designed, to be a "pluralistic" inclusive concept, according to Mueller, and to make families of any and all faiths and beliefs welcome.

- Schofield Workshops
These workshops are available at Schofield Barracks:
•Financial Peace University, a 13-week money management class with the ACS Financial Readiness Program;
•Balanced Warrior, which explores mental, emotional, social, spiritual, educational and occupational resiliency (Army Substance Abuse Program);
•Love & Respect, a marriage class with Chaplain (Capt.) Carlos Molina;
•The Daniel Plan, incorporating healthy, whole food lifestyle habits;
•Parent and Adult Support Groups, including monthly sessions for parents of children with Down Syndrome or autism, conducted by ACS and the Exceptional Family Member Program;
•123 Magic, which provides practical advice for parents of children ages 2-12 by ACS.

- AMR Workshops
These workshops are available at AMR:
•Pacific Club, for youth grades 6-12;
•Child Care, for ages 6 months-4 years;
•Financial Peace University, a 13-week money management class with the ACS Financial Readiness Program;
•Bible Study Classes, including "Experiencing God, "The Book of Job" and "How People Change."

- Schofield Family Night
Attend Wednesdays. Dinner from 5:30-6:10 p.m., sessions 6:10-7:30 p.m., child care 6-7:40 p.m. Contact Deborah McSwain at (808) 655-9198.

- AMR Family Night
Attend Tuesdays. Dinner from 5:30-6:10 p.m., sessions 6:10-7:30 p.m., child care 6-7:40 p.m. Contact Kathy Whalen at (808) 839-4319 or (808) 833-8175.