[ The Real McCoy Online Home ]                                                                                                              September 11, 2009

McCoy Family Connections program promotes fitness, community

By Rob Schuette, Public Affairs Staff

Members of two Fort McCoy families participating in the Rumpel Fitness Center’s Family Connections program use it as a fun way to stay involved in the installation community and keep physically fit. The program also is part of the installation’s effort to support the Army Family Covenant and strengthen families by having them do events together.

Photo: The families of Master Sgt. Misty Brown (left) and Master Sgt. Leslie Guttenberg (right) and Lt. Col. John Halvorson (back row, center) are participants in the Family Connections program. (Contributed photo)
The families of Master Sgt. Misty Brown (left) and Master Sgt. Leslie Guttenberg (right) and Lt. Col. John Halvorson (back row, center) are participants in the Family Connections program. (Contributed photo)

Family Connections is open to authorized people — both families and individuals — in the Fort McCoy community and requires participants to complete a specific number of recreational, educational and physical fitness events/activities to earn credits.

At the end of a month and a quarter, individuals and families successfully completing the necessary events enter a drawing to win Fort McCoy Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation prizes.

Jobi Spolum, Fort McCoy Marketing director, said authorized personnel can do the events at Fort McCoy and/or in their home community.

The purpose of the program is to get people to do things together as a family.

“This is one of the programs we designed to support the Army Family Covenant,” Spolum said.

The Army Family Covenant helps the installation build a partnership with families that enhances their strength and resilience.

Master Sgt. Leslie Guttenberg of the 2nd, 411th Logistical Support Battalion of the 181st Infantry Brigade said participating in the program helped her children learn that Fort McCoy is not just a place where she and her husband work, but a community where there are many events going on.

“As soon as a new schedule comes out my sons are looking at it to see what’s going on at Fort McCoy and what events they can do,” she said. “It helps them to keep the initiative to do something.”

The family participated in the 5K (July 4) and Family Fun Day (July 11) events, which were held at Pine View Recreation Area, she said. Pine View offers a number of events during the summer season that are eligible for the Family Connection program.

Guttenberg said her family also earns credits for such things as attending fitness classes at the Rumpel Fitness Center, building 1122, or riding a bicycle or walking a dog in their home community.

Master Sgt. Misty Brown of the U.S. Army Reserve Pay Center, which is located at Fort McCoy, said she and her children first heard about the program from the Guttenberg family and all the great prizes they were eligible to win just by competing.

“I asked her how they did it,” Brown said. “Leslie said she just filled out a Family Connections Card from all the different activities she and her family completed together.”

“My daughters were in Arkansas at the time so I made a commitment to start right away,” Brown said. “They came back in August, and when I told them about the prizes we could win just by exercising (and attending events) together, they were hooked.”

Her family began walking and jogging at night to get ready for a run in Whitehall, Wis. The two families competed together and had a lot of fun.

“My daughters also started playing tennis with me,” Brown said. “Although it can be extremely slow, it’s awesome to see them excited about fitness. They keep me in check about filling out the card, too. It is great.”

More information about the program and eligible events/activities are available at the MWR Web site http://www.mccoymwr.com/Index/Event%20Calendar.htm or can be obtained by calling the Rumpel Fitness Center at 608-388-2290.

People who want to register and pick up the Family Connections Card and official rules can stop at the Fitness Center during business hours.


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