Marine Corps offers a Pacific summer camp experience
Stars and Stripes June 3, 2003
CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa — No more teachers, and no more books.
School’s coming to a close, but Marine Corps Community Services has the answer to keeping kids busy during the summer months.
It’s called Summer Care: field trips, activities, skits and songs that burn off excess summer energy and keep kids involved in constructive activity.
Formerly called Camp Adventure, this year’s Summer Care offers the same escapades as past years, said Nancy Dunn, administrator for MCCS’ Children, Youth and Teen Programs.
“It’s proven to be very popular with the kids and the parents, and that’s why we’re bringing it back again this year,” Dunn said. “We have the same skits and songs. Some of them are even copyrighted, so only Summer Care can use them. It’s like sending a kid to summer camp in the States.”
Dunn said the Summer Care day camp is a two-fold benefit. First, it offers parents another opportunity to extend care programs in which they enrolled children during the school year. The second benefit is to the children themselves.
“The kids really enjoy the social interaction,” she said. “It’s an opportunity to enjoy the community with the field trips that maybe parents might not have the time to do. It also brings fresh, new ideas from the stateside counselors.”
The counselors are what make Summer Care a success. College-age students give up their summers to travel overseas. Each one is studying a field related to early childhood development or early education. They endure a nearly yearlong training program in the United States before being qualified to work with the children. A camp director at each day-camp site provides oversight; further direction is provided by MCCS.
“We have 18 counselors in all,” Dunn said. “Each one is an outstanding, enthusiastic college- aged student who loves to work with kids.”
With nearly 100 children enrolled in the program last year on Okinawa alone, Dunn said interested parents should begin the sign-up process now.
“Space is limited,” she said. “We’re asking parents to sign up for one session, and if they want to continue with another session, we’re asking them to put their names on a waiting list for further sessions.”
Sessions pick up right after school lets out and end just before school picks up again for the fall semester.
Costs for the sessions are broken down according to pay brackets, too.
“We offer discounts for those who have multiple children joining the camp or have one child already in one of the Child Development Centers,” Dunn said.
Camp roundup ...
Camps Foster, Kinser and Courtney offer programs at one of the local schools; sign-ups already are under way.The first session is slated for June 16-July 4. The second session runs July 7-25 and the final session is July 28-Aug. 15. Ages of children eligible for enrollment run from those who just finished kindergarten through next year’s seniors.
At Misawa Air Base, Japan, no Camp Adventure or Summer Care programs are planned.
At Yokosuka Naval Base, Japan, Camp Adventure runs 10 one-week sessions from June 16 through Aug. 22. Parents can sign their kids up for the whole program, or for specific weeklong segments. Registration is on a first-come, first-serve basis starting May 19. Call 241-3044 for more information.
At Sasebo Naval base, Japan, no Camp Adventure or Summer Care program is planned, but the base is running two Summer Camps of its own; one camp targets physically active kids, while the other caters to creative activities. The camp starts June 16 and runs through Aug. 22. For more information, from Hario Housing, call 252-8866, from main base, call 252-2989.
At Iwakuni Marine Corps Air Base, Japan, Camp Adventure registration will run throughout the summer. Camp beings June 16 and ends Aug. 22. For more information, call 253-5549.
At Camp Zama, Japan, there are three summer camp programs. Kids Paradise for first- through fourth-graders is June 9 to Aug. 22. The Preteen Camp, for fifth- and sixth-graders is June 9 to Aug. 22. Activities include camping, hiking, white-water rafting and field trips to amusement and athletic parks. The middle school and teenage program is for seventh- through 12th-graders. Activities include whitewater rafting and mountain climbing. For more information, call 263-8086.
At Osan Air Base, Korea, the school-age program Summer Camp Adventure runs June 16 to Aug. 22. Registration begins June 2. Youth must be Osan Youth Programs members.
At Taegu, Korea, Camp Adventure SAS Summer Camp will run daily June 16 to Aug. 15. for children who have completed kindergarten through fifth grade. Sign up at Child and Youth Services Central Registration Office, Camp Walker, Building 257.
At Pusan, Korea, Camp Adventure will run June 16 to Aug. 18 for 6-year-olds to 12-year-olds, divided in two age groups for much of the programming (6 to 8, 9 to 12).