By Sara E. Martin, Army Flier Staff WriterJanuary 23, 2014
FORT RUCKER, Ala. (January 23, 2014) -- For wanna-be detectives who look up to characters such as Sherlock Holmes and the Scooby-Doo gang, the youth center offers teens an opportunity to show off their teamwork and sleuthing skills, without the danger of being chased off by a headless snow monster or Redbeard's ghost, or being called a meddling kid.
The Fort Rucker Youth Center will hold a Get a Clue Party for registered members with active passes, ages 11-18, and their guests. And although the children won't be solving any mysteries, they will be searching for clues on a post-wide scavenger hunt Jan. 24 from 4-8 p.m.
"The party is a photo scavenger hunt," said Heavenly Hunter, youth center workforce preparation specialist and administration assistant. "The teens will begin here and will follow clues around post. Youth will be divided into teams and given clues to locate various items for a scavenger hunt."
Participants will have to take pictures of themselves at the location before they search for the next clue to move forward. Sometimes they will have to ride a bus to get to the locations, and others they will walk to, said Hunter.
Approximately 15 places have been chosen to house the clues, and some of the locations were chosen to facilitate conversations between the older and younger participants.
"They will see areas of post that they might not have known about before -- we want to open their eyes to what Fort Rucker really has," said Hunter. "And not only that, but it will help the teams advance their leadership and team working skills because they are going to have to work together to complete the tasks."
Healthy, not Scooby, snacks will be provided at the free event, and the team that returns first with the most clues will win giveaways.
Regular activities will still be held for those wishing not to participate, but Linda Ivy, youth center assistant director and training specialist, hopes that teens will flock to the event to reap the benefits.
"We have not done an activity like this before. We are trying to execute new and different things for the children to do to keep their minds and bodies active. We hope this will draw in new kids, and get their attention about some of the neat and fun activities that we do here," she said.
The center also wants to improve the quality of life for local teens by promoting healthy habits like walking and respectful communication.
"Once they get to certain locations, they will have the opportunity to walk around and look at where they are at and for the clues," said Ivy. "We want teens to realize that we don't just do activities inside these walls. We do lots of things outside, too."
Ivy said that the center is not a fancy babysitting gathering place where the teens are just watching TV and playing video games, but where they are being actively engaged with mind-broadening activities.
"I feel like there is a lot of pressure on teens, and what we do is provide a safe place for them to let go and relax, have fun and meet new people," she said. "Parents don't have to worry about their child's wellbeing while they are carrying out the mission. This is a place where teens can grow intellectually and physically."
So while teens my not have the opportunity to catch criminal masterminds, create urban camouflage or rip a mask off of a disgruntled citizen, they will have a chance to create Mystery Inc. friendship bonds in their own Mystery Machine, and come out victorious against fellow detectives that want to steal the case and the glory of bragging rights of the Get a Clue Party at the Fort Rucker Youth Center.
For more information, call 255-2271 or 255-2260.