SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii -- Dancing, laughter and crazy costumes filled the lanes of the bowling center, here, as Club Beyond launched its annual outreach ministry to middle and high school students, Aug. 13.
Sponsored by U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii's chapel, this "Knockout" kickoff event drew more than 150 teenagers from various corners of Schofield, many of whom had recently arrived from the mainland, Europe and Asia.
More than 20 student leaders helped initiate and develop the event.
"The student leaders really took initiative to make our newcomers feel at home and part of the group," said Laura Collier, one of Club Beyond's adult staff. "I love how Club Beyond is like a big family; it's so much more than a youth group."
Competitions, prizes, food and a live deejay kept things moving, with youths line dancing and bowling.
"Club (Beyond) helps me -- and I believe everyone else -- to get to know all our peers," said Alec Hayes, one of this year's student leaders. "It helped me become a social person. Club (Beyond) is just a place where I can simply be myself."
Club Beyond's mission is to "celebrate life with military kids, introducing them to the life giver, Jesus Christ, and helping them to become more like him," while offering youth a chance build meaningful relationships.
"This is a great way for teens to make great new friends, and it provides opportunities for us to hang out at retreats, meetings and events," said Michael Chapman, a Club Beyond member. "It's really had an amazing effect at breaking down relationship barriers for me."
Military Community Youth Ministries hosts Club Beyond for military high school and middle school-aged kids worldwide. Visit www.mcym.org/Schofield, www.mcym.org/shafter or www.clubbeyondhawaii.com.
Schofield Barracks Club Beyond is held Wednesdays, 6:16 p.m., on the second floor of Building 791, behind the Exchange. There are separate middle and high school groups. Call (808)372-1567 or (808)778-1056 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
Schofield Barracks' den group for high school students is held Tuesdays, 6 p.m., Building 791.
Aliamanu Military Reservation/Fort Shafter Club Beyond is held Tuesdays, 6:15 p.m., AMR Community Center. Call (808)426-6343 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.