Yongsan hosting jamboree for special-needs students
YONGSAN GARRISON, South Korea — An estimated 100 special-needs students and more than 300 community volunteers are set to celebrate the 18th Annual June Jamboree at Yongsan Garrison on Friday.
The event, sponsored by Army Community Service’s Exceptional Family Member Program, is billed as a daylong festival for special-needs children, their families and community members.
“The June Jamboree is an annual event for students with special needs to have a special day of fun and fitness,” said Area II commander Col. Timothy McNulty, in an earlier memo seeking volunteers for the event. “Volunteers have traditionally had as much fun as the students.”
In addition to about 200 volunteers who will coordinate registration, activities and food services, 100 “one-on-one buddies” are to accompany the students and offer them encouragement to take part in events throughout the day.
The day is to kick off with registration at 8 a.m., organizers said, then move into activities such as a swimming party, bowling party and barbecue. At around 11:30, the ACS commander will hold a short ceremony honoring the students and volunteers, followed by an afternoon of field games.
“We do this event every year but it’s also important to offer recreation activities throughout the year for kids” in the exceptional family member program, said Alexander Carter, Jamboree manager and Yongsan’s EFMP coordinator.
Events are targeted at special-needs students ages 3-19, officials said, adding that similar programs usually are held in other military regions in South Korea, although on a smaller scale.
Officials had considered trying to get all special needs on the peninsula to the Yongsan Garrison event, Carter said, but the logistics were just too daunting.
While the need for last-minute volunteers might arise, officials said, each approved volunteer has passed a background check.
Call DSN 738-5311 for more information on the jamboree.