[ The Real McCoy Online Home ]                                                                                                               September 26, 2008

Mothers of Preschoolers group forms, meetings to begin at Chapel Center Oct. 7

By Rob Schuette, The Real McCoy Staff

     Mothers of preschool-age children soon will have a new Fort McCoy organization to help them find friends, resources and to help guide them and their children through that important time in their lives.

Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS) is an international Christian organization operating in the United States and 28 countries with more than 4,000 local groups.

At Fort McCoy, MOPS is coordinated by Karen Colwell, the spouse of Garrison Chap. (Col.) Steven Colwell. It is scheduled to hold a kickoff meeting from 9-11 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 7 in the Chapel Center, building 2675.

Thereafter, the group will meet the first and third Tuesdays of each month from 9-11 a.m. Colwell said she started a similar organization in Sparta in 2007 that is now flourishing.

"I wanted to start a military MOPS (at Fort McCoy) to help military mothers of preschool-age children to get together and help each other," Colwell said. "The needs we hope to meet are to create lasting friendships, help for moms, especially if their husbands are deployed, and give another avenue of support."

MOPS will be beneficial for moms who may be isolated and need an outlet after constantly caring for her children and family. MOPS are designed for women to find their own identity as a woman, friend and as a leader, she said.

The Fort McCoy organization will be open to military mothers of preschool-aged children (birth to 6 years old or who are out of kindergarten).

The organization also will serve military, military family members, retirees, federal employees and contractors — basically anyone who has a connection to the Fort McCoy community in a professional or working relationship.

Colwell said she hopes to develop a steering team of women and other interested personnel who will help lead with different responsibilities, such as hospitality, publicity, creative activities and outreach. The plan envisions the group having speakers, creative activities, games, food, and time to talk and share experiences.

"The theme from MOPS International this year is ‘Adventures in Motherhood,’ and that theme lends itself very well to military moms," Colwell said. "It is an adventure wherever and whenever the Army sends you as a mom with preschool-aged children."

MOPS and other compatible organizations that can be sponsored by the Religious Support Office (RSO) will be sponsored if the programming resources, including volunteers, are available and sufficient community interest exists.

Personnel in the Fort McCoy community can register for MOPS or get information about RSO activities by calling the Chapel Center at (608) 388-3528.

Childcare for MOPS participants will be available if the request is made by the Monday before a meeting. Children using these services must be registered at the Fort McCoy Child Development Center.


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