By Erin Murray, Army Flier Staff WriterNovember 23, 2011
FORT RUCKER, Ala. (November 24, 2011) -- Though rain threatened to ruin an otherwise pleasant November night, dozens of Fort Rucker Families enjoyed a night on the shore of Lake Tholocco, even if it was a little wet, complete with storytelling and s'mores, at the Night Under the Stars and Tell Me a Story event Nov. 19.
"A Night Under the Stars was the Directorate of Family, Morale, Welfare and Recreation's tribute to military Families. The idea of the event was for Families to have the opportunity to camp out. It was great to see the Families enjoying themselves out here at West Beach, and also providing their children a fun experience with camping. The fire pits and s'mores were a nice touch, and it was fun to see the kids having a good time," said Brian Jackson, delivery systems program manager.
The night was held in honor of the Month of the Military Family, and had many events to keep Family members entertained, including face painting, inflatable boxing, a movie screening and the Tell Me a Story event hosted by Col. James A. Muskopf, garrison commander.
Muskopf read from the book "Night Catch" by Brenda Ehrmantraut, which is about a deployed Soldier who enlists the help of the North Star to have a nightly game of catch with his son. While the book was being read, the children watched pictures of the story on a large inflatable movie screen.
Melissa Lamie came with her husband, Jason, and two daughters to enjoy the movie and storytelling.
"I think it's great that they have activities like this. We've been looking forward to it. They had it on the website, newspaper and in the library. The activity kits are just what the kids need. It's right here on base, it's safe and it's entertaining. That's the best part -- we didn't have to go far for a night out," she said.
Lamie also said that the experience was great, even though her Family decided not to camp out.
"It's a really nice experience for the Family. We reserved a book, which was really great. The children also enjoyed just being able to run around the park," said Pamela Kellogg, who came with her sons Conner and Brayden.
Though the weather threatened to upstage the night of camping, the overnight part of the event went off without a hitch. According to W01 Dusty Hodges, who camped out with his wife and children, the night was pleasant and a great way to spend time together.
"Even with the weather, I thought the evening was great and well organized. I've been in the military for 14 years, and this is the first installation we've been at that has so many Family events. I don't think I'd change anything about the night, because even when it rained through the s'mores roast, everyone still had a smile on their face," he said.
Hodges and his Family participated in all the night's events, including the Tell Me a Story event, which he said was a favorite for his children.
"They loved [the reading.] They followed along in the books and really enjoyed seeing what they were reading on the big screen," said Hodges.
Campers were also able to purchase breakfast through DFMWR, and spend the morning enjoying the lake and a little extra Family time.
For more information on camping at Lake Tholocco, call 255-4234. To find out more about upcoming DFMWR events, call 255-9810.