Summer camps offered for youths of deployed
Stars and Stripes March 26, 2008
Astronauts write notes and work on their spacecraft while in all sorts of positions, including upside down.
Some high-school students also will be able to hone their astronaut skills this summer as part of Camp A.R.M.Y. Challenge.
A Space Camp and three other weeklong camps are being offered to middle school and high-school-age children of troops who are deployed, or will be deploying, to Iraq and Afghanistan.
Another camp will bring middle school students to an environmentally protected island off Germany’s North Sea coast for a week of educational beachcombing.
Two sports camps also will be offered.
The camps cost $50 per child. Deadline for registering is May 2. Camp sizes are limited.
The camps were organized so that children affected by deployments can bond and share their experiences as well as just have fun, according to Joseph Marton, a child and youth services specialist with Installation Management Command Europe.
This is the third year for the program.
The acronym A.R.M.Y. stands for adventure, resilience, memories and youth.
Campers will be collected by bus at central locations and driven to their respective camps.
Garrisons throughout Europe also will be offering weeklong day camps, also for children of deployed troops.
Those programs are currently being designed by the garrisons and IMCOM-Europe.
The Space Camp emphasizes science and technology, Marton said. In addition to working with a partial space shuttle craft, students would visit a nearby lock to watch how hydraulics move barges from sea inlets and down rivers.
The week culminates with the students participating in a simulated shuttle launch.
At the Island Adventure camp, children will explore a massive beach after its sea and bird wildlife is exposed when the tide goes out.
“You’re experiencing the wind and sun,” Marton said. “The beach is vast and uninhabited and you’re in the middle of a nature preserve.
“It’s a great time for the kids to reflect on themselves, what’s happening in their lives and what their next steps in life might be.”
Dozens of bicycles are rented for the children so they can get around the island, which is free of automobiles.
The exact locations for the Space Camp and Island Adventure are being withheld for force protection reasons, Marton said. The locations of the sports camps are still being decided through a bid process.
The Specialty Camps are day camps at local garrisons and could include topics such as creative and journal writing, Marton said. The garrisons have a choice of activities from IMCOM-Europe from which to choose.
Applications, rules are available onlineSummer camps for children of deployed youths, to be held as part of Camp A.R.M.Y. Challenge:
For students in grades nine to 12:Space Camp: Aug. 3-8 in Belgium for students in grades nine through 12. A science-and-technology experience highlighted by working with a partial model of the NASA space shuttle. Students get to experience a simulated lift-off. Camp limit: 30 youths.
Sports and Fitness Camp: June 16-21 at a site in Germany. Basketball, soccer and other sports as well as classes in health and nutrition. Conducted by coaches brought in from the U.S. and Europe. Camp limit: 30 youths.
For students in grades six through eight: Island Adventure: July 5-12 at an island off Germany’s northern coast. Learn about nature at an environmentally protected island. The island, which allows no motor vehicles, features a vast beach that, during low tide, is rich with sea wildlife such as crabs and seasonal birds. Bicycles provided. Camp limit: 80 youths.
Sports and Fitness Camp: June 16-21 at a site in Germany to be determined. Basketball, soccer and other sports as well as classes in health and nutrition. Coaches brought in from the U.S. and Europe to conduct. Camp limit: 80 youths.
For grades one through 12: Specialty camps: June 23-27 at various garrisons throughout Europe. The menu of activities is being developed through garrisons’ Child and Youth Services offices and Morale, Welfare and Recreation-Europe. Age groups and activities will vary depending on the garrison.
Eligibility: Children of troops who are deployed or scheduled to deploy between June 1, 2007, and March 1, 2009.
Rules and registration: www.mwr-europe.com (Applications can only be submitted online.)