FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. — Fort Leonard Wood Child and Youth Services is celebrating the Month of the Military Child with a series of socially distanced events — from a post-wide travelling scavenger hunt to a drive-through celebration just before May.
“Military children are some of the most resilient and flexible humans on Earth,” said Monica Johnson with CYS. “Through multiple moves, deployments, changing schools and many other challenges they face, they push through and make things happen. Our military children are also some of the biggest cheerleaders our service members have, and they should be recognized for all they do and endure.”
The department kicked off the appreciation month April 1 with Col. Jeff Paine, U.S. Army Garrison Fort Leonard Wood commander, signing the official proclamation in front of a classroom of children at Child Development Center 615.
The scavenger hunt, since altered from previous years to accommodate for safe distancing, began Monday and will continue through April 29.
CYS officials said the event will take patrons across the installation in search of landmarks children can record on a bingo card and later turn in for a chance at prizes.
“Patrons will drive themselves to different locations marked on a map provided by our staff and visit the facilities,” said Chana Tillman with CYS. “Children will be on the lookout for items on their Bingo cards while their adults drive around post.”
Bingo cards and maps can be picked up and dropped off at CDC 408, CDC 615, the School Age Center, the Commissary and Post Exchange. These locations are also highlighted in green on the maps.
CYS staff said the end-of-month drive-through celebration came from having to adapt to the pandemic.
“Due to the current conditions, we had to get creative,” Tillman said. “In the past, our CYS children and staff came together to have a parade on April 1, and we usually host a Fun Fair the first Saturday in April. We are giving families the opportunity to participate in a … drive-through celebration where our staff along with FLW partners will be providing goodies, marketing and entertainment.”
The drive-through will take place 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. April 30 at the Bldg. 470 parking lot.
Both events, Tillman said, are designed to keep parents and children safe.
“We created the scavenger hunt as an event that families can enjoy at their leisure in their personal bubble,” she said. “During our drive-through celebration, families will remain in their vehicles while volunteers safely hand them goodies from a safe distance … All volunteers will be wearing masks and gloves during the event.”
For more information on MOMC events, or for a CYS calendar, call 573.596.0238.