By Rob Schuette, The Real McCoy Staff
Youth, grades kindergarten through high school, in the Fort
McCoy Child and Youth Services (CYS) Summer Camp program participate
in a variety of activities that are not only fun, but also help them
retain their scholastic knowledge and develop their life and social
Youth in the Fort McCoy CYS
Summer Camp practice basketball skills under the guidance of
Rumpel Fitness Center staff during a clinic at the fitness
(Photo by Rob Schuette)
They're also kept busy as a recent day saw them go through a
whirlwind of activities.
In the morning, the Summer Camp youth went to the Rumpel
Fitness Center to participate in a basketball clinic, said Becky
Walley, CYS director. This allowed them to be introduced to the basics
of a sport, while learning life and social skills that allowed them to
learn from and interact with the instructors and other youth in the
program. It also helped improve their motor skills.
"We help them continue learning and growing during their
summer break from school," Walley said.
Back at the CYS facilities, youth were participating in several
activities. On one end of the building, they were using the computer
laboratory under the direction of Emma Schmitz of the CYS staff to
work on computer skills and to have fun exploring various Web sites.
Walley said youth can work on various assignments in the computer lab,
as well. This is an important element in the school year after-school
program, as well, as youth can participate in a "power hour"
to get their homework done, she said.
At the other end of the building, a group of youth gathered
around Jena Christopherson, who was teaching them to count from 10-20
as part of Spanish Club activities.
Emma Schmitz of the CYS staff
helps youth in the Summer Camp program navigate computers in the
CYS computer laboratory. (Photo
by Rob Schuette)
Christopherson used the visual images of a deck of cards to
help the youth associate the Spanish word for a corresponding number
with a card from the deck.
After a break for lunch, the youth participated in activities
at the Fort McCoy Pine View Recreation Area or at the Fitness Center
As they experienced various recreational activities or physical
fitness activities, the youth again learned how to get along and
interact with other adults and youth.
"They also learned important safety aspects of being
around water and participating in water sports, such as
swimming," Walley said.
The CYS Summer Camp supports the Army Family Covenant, which
recognizes that though Soldiers may be the strength of the nation, the
strength of the Soldiers is in the strength of their families. The
Summer Camp helps youth continue their learning curve during the
summer break and reach their full potential. This helps families reach
their full potential, as well, Walley said.
And so goes a typical day in the summer camp. Walley said youth
can participate in many additional activities. A small listing
includes the tech and art clubs, conflict resolution workshop,
nutrition speakers, good touch/bad touch instruction, anger
management, sports clubs, a Norskedalen Field Trip and 4-H, Nature,
Science, Cooking and Drama Club activities, she said.
Jena Christopherson of the CYS
staff helps youth in the Summer Camp learn how to count in
(Photo by Rob Schuette)
Parents like the activities because they allow children to
experience a wide variety of activities and interact with adults and
youth, Walley said.
Sgt. 1st Class Margaret Diehl of Headquarters of the 426th
Regiment at the Wisconsin Military Academy, and a parent with children
in the Summer Camp program, said she brought her children to the
program to continue to develop their social skills.
"The activities keep them busy," Diehl said.
"The program also provides educational opportunities for them to
keep those skills up (until they return to school in the fall)."
Laurie Hertzfeldt of the Resource Management Office said her
children might be sitting around at home if they didn't have the
option of attending Summer Camp. The variety of activities helps keep
them engaged, she said. Some of the favorites were the tech club and
arts and crafts, swimming and the reading opportunities.
"My daughter started reading a book during the reading
class," Hertzfeldt said. "She had to come back the next day
to finish it. This will help keep them ready when they go back to