FORT DRUM, N.Y. (Dec. 2, 2022) -- The Fort Drum Family Resource Center bustled with activity Dec. 2 during the Relocation Readiness Program’s “There’s Snow Place Like Home” event.
For some families, it was a play date as kids sipped hot chocolate and entertained themselves with games. Other attendees showed off their creativity at one of the arts-and-crafts tables or learned a healthy snack idea at a cooking demonstration.
Anna Ostrander, RELO program educator, welcomed family members at the entrance and directed them to where all the different activities were located.
“We usually set up pretty early, so we were somewhat prepared today for when people started showing up ahead of time,” she said. “It was a pretty big group right from the start.”
Ostrander said that they hosted a similar event, a Fall Fling in October, that drew a sizeable crowd.
“I think it’s important to provide that opportunity for families to get out of the house, and we give them tons of different options for things to do,” she said. “Some stay a half hour, and some stay the whole day. Also, while they are here, they meet so many people and make connections. A lot of times we see people come back in groups, having met them at previous events.”
Lindsey Promitas, with Cornell Cooperative Extension’s Nutrition and Local Foods Program, demonstrated how to make air-fried Brussels sprouts with Parmesan cheese and garlic, and a Santa-on-a-stick snack made with banana, grape, raspberry, pomegranate and marshmallow.
“I’m showing a couple of healthy snacks for the holidays that are easy to make and affordable,” she said. “And it’s kind of fun – something kids can help with.”
Zoe Johnson, RELO intern, assisted attendees with a holiday gnome and a wreath-making craft.
“My first day as an intern here was a class on how to make a gnome, and it was a lot of fun,” she said. “There’s always something fun to do here, and you get to meet a lot of people.”
Kelly Bice, Army Family Team Building and Army Family Action Plan program manager, showed family members how to craft paper bags into a beautiful ornamental snowflake.
“Lunch bags are something a lot of families already have in their house,” she said. “So this is an easy project to make, easy to decorate, and something the whole family can do together.”
While Bice looks forward to hosting an AFTB birthday celebration on Dec. 14 at the FRC, she said she was happy to support this community event.
“This is a great way for me to interact with Fort Drum spouses, talk about our classes, and let them know our program is kid-friendly,” she said.
Patricia Schmidt attended the RELO event with her two young daughters. She said they just arrived at Fort Drum from Colorado at the beginning of September.
“So it’s like we spent the last two years preparing for this weather,” she said. “I spent many years in California with boring weather, so I kind of enjoy this a lot more.”
A day earlier, Schmidt attended RELO’s Coffee Connections gathering at the FRC.
“I really just want to do all the things here,” she said. “I feel that people who enjoy their experience the most are the ones who get involved and do things. So that’s what I’m trying to do. I’m not going to sit around and complain without actually seeing all that Fort Drum has to offer.”
To learn more about the Fort Drum Relocation Readiness Program, visit www.facebook.com/people/Fort-Drum-Relocation-Readiness-Program/100064615092654.