|Nearly 400 youth and parents enjoyed the activities and
great weather during Fort McCoy’s annual Day for Kids.
The Sept. 15 event provided a day for youth and their parents to spend
quality time together at the installation, said Cori Yahnke.Yahnke, who
is the Fort McCoy School Age and Youth Center director, oversees the
Fort McCoy Child, Youth, and School (CYS) Services Boys & Girls Club.
Youth participating in the Fort McCoy Day for Kids enjoy one of
the inflatable games.
(Photo by Jobi Spolum)
“This was a great day of free Family fun,” Yahnke said. “There were
activities for youth of all ages.”
Activities were held in and around building 905. Families could
visit many informational booths with hands-on activities from Army
Community Service (ACS), McDonald’s, Operation Military Kids/4H
Club, and the Army Substance Abuse Program. No federal endorsement
The Fort McCoy Directorate of Emergency Services (DES) provided
child safety seat checks during the event.
CYS Services hosted carnival-type games, including a football throw,
bean-bag toss, putt-putt challenge, and bowling.
Educational opportunities abounded. ACS booths offered information
about financial matters and resilience.
“The free book giveaway was a huge hit with the youth,” Yahnke said.
“CYS Services and Day for Kids organizers encourage Family reading
time, and receiving a brand new book was a great way to get kids
excited about reading.”
Health and fitness, which are CYS Services focus areas, also were
incorporated into the event.
The first Kid’s Fun Run was held, and youth could enjoy inflatable
games from KidAgain, including slam-dunk basketball, a boot-camp
challenge obstacle course, and a safari zone for the younger
Family members make dream catchers at the Operation Military
Kids/4H Club booth.
(Photo by Jena Christopherson)
Attendees also could work off their energy at the hula-hoop and the
limbo stations, she said.
Thirty-one youth raced in the inaugural Kids Fun Run, and they all
were excited to participate, Yahnke said.
Youth in the 5-to-7 years old division and 8-to-9 years old division
participated first and ran a 0.4-mile route, followed by youth in
the 10-12 and 13-18 divisions running a 0.8-mile route.
The first three finishers in each age division won medals, and all
participants received a ribbon.
“A few youth surprised their parents by how well they ran — we may
have some future track stars in the making,” Yahnke said. “It was
great to see the youth excited about doing something that is so good
for their physical well-being, as well.”
“It also was great to see the awesome sportsmanship and character
shown at the event by both youth and parents,” she said. “These are
characteristics and Army Values we emphasize to the youth in our
CHARACTER COUNTS! Program. Everyone cheered on all the runners and
congratulated each youth as they crossed the finish line.”
Youth and their parents took a break from the activities with a free
lunch of hot dogs, chips, apples and ice cream, which was
coordinated by the Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation (FMWR)
Door prizes also were given away throughout the day.
“All in all, Fort McCoy Day for Kids was a huge success,” Yahnke
said. “Much of the success was due to the great partnerships
involved in putting the event together.”
CYS Services appreciated the help it received from ACS, the FMWR
Marketing Office, the Army Substance Abuse Program, the DES, and the
Rumpel Fitness Center staff in planning and conducting the event,
CYS Services currently is offering its school-year programs, which
include child care for youth ages infant to five years and an
after-school program, including inclement-weather/non-school day
activities, for youth who are school age.
For more information about CYS Services programs, call CYS Services
at 608-388-2238/4373 or Parent Central Services at 608-388-8956.