Marines

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Arts and crafts supplies are collected together on a table for children to use during the Crafty Campers event hosted by Armed Services YMCA at Tarawa Terrace aboard the Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune housing area, June 28. The event was one of six weekly events offered in Crafty Campers from June 28 though Aug. 2.

Photo by Pfc. Nikki Phongsisattanak

Kids learn about safety while crafting art

28 Jun 2011 | Pfc. Nikki Phongsisattanak

Children gathered to kick off the Crafty Campers program hosted by Armed Services YMCA at Tarawa Terrace aboard the Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune housing area, June 28.

The program is open to children of authorized Department of Defense identification cardholders ages 6 through 10. Parents dropped off their kids for the Sunny Days event, which is one of the six weekly events offered in Crafty Campers from June 28 though Aug. 2.

“Today we’re actually going to discuss summer safety and decorate sun glasses for the crafting portion,” said Denise Cordova, assistant program director with Armed Services YMCA.

During the interactive discussion, Cordova talked about appropriate behavior and asked questions about the different types of safety gear for activities such as biking, swimming and plain old fun in the sun.

After reviewing safety tips and lessons, the children were able to begin their masterpieces. The YMCA provided sunglasses with cases for all of the kids to decorate any way they wanted.

Cordova asked the children what they liked most about art. The first to answer said, “It’s a way to show how we feel.” Another said, “I get to use my imagination to be creative,” and one simply replied, “I just like to paint.”

The young craftsmen scattered decorative supplies all over their work table. All of them seemed focused on their projects, breaking out of their tunnel vision only to inquire for help or for a pit stop at the restroom. They let their creative imaginations take control and some seemed as if they forgot the need to blink.

“The goal of Crafty Campers is to give the children more things to do,” said Barbara Robinson, program director with Armed Services YMCA. “They get a chance to come in and show off their (artistic) crafts.
It also gives the parents a cheaper way of providing a summer camp that doesn’t cost hundreds of dollars a month, because Crafter Campers is only $25. The events last for six sessions and we provide all the supplies.”

The YMCA has been a proud supporter of services members, veterans and their families, helping in any way they can to improve and promote a safe and healthy lifestyle.

“It’s a great opportunity for (us) to give back to the community,” said Cordova. “It alleviates a little bit of stress off of the parents when they can take their kids to a safe environment where they’re learning something and having fun. The kids get a chance to network, make friends and it gives parents a break, so it’s a win-win situation.”

For more information on Armed Services YMCA programs and events call 450-0497 or visit lejeuneasymca.org.