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Jun 28, 2018 4:51:21 PM

Summer Has Arrived at ASYMCA of Hawaii!

Military Children at Operation Hero at ASYMCA Hawaii

Each summer, the Armed Services YMCA supports ASYMCA branches and YMCA affiliates across the country to help send military kids to camp. This initiative has allowed over 2,000 military children across the country to attend day and overnight camps this summer!

We’re spreading the good news with a blog series highlighting the various programs and curriculums offered at the summer camps, ranging from STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics) experiments, to cooking classes, Tae Kwon Do and more!

Check out this week’s Q&A with ASYMCA of Hawaii Outreach Director, Faith Schuerch-Carrabis, as she shares information about their summer programs.


Question:

Military children will change schools 6-9 times during their K-12 academic careers. How does ASYMCA Hawaii work to combat this issue?

Military Children at Operation Hero at ASYMCA Hawaii

Answer:

For military children, summer may be a time to say goodbye to friends they just made and put on a brave face as they contemplate being the new kid again next fall. Military children are strong and these are challenges that will be met and overcome but that doesn’t mean it’s easy and tears are never shed. The Armed Services YMCA Hawaii recognizes that kids serve too. Which is why three summers ago we launched Camp Hero. At Camp Hero we build self-confidence, self-esteem, and independence. Nowhere are these characteristics more important than in the life of a military child! This exciting day camp has allowed hundreds of military youth to share common experiences and meet new friends, while participating in outdoor fun, field trips, arts and crafts, and the all popular “In Their Boots/Warrior Day”.

Question:

What's one activity that campers look forward to each summer?

Answer:

In Their Boots Day/Warrior Day is one of the highlights of Camp Hero. This day gives campers the opportunity to see a working dog demonstration from the K9 Unit, walk through a Coast Guard vessel, experience life as a medical mountaineer, learn how an EOD robot works, interact with military police officers, learn Jedi Training, go through a variety of helicopters, and experience a Humvee simulator, just to  name a few activities. 

Question:

What do you hope campers take away at the end of Camp Hero?

Answer:

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We hope that through Camp Hero, summer will conjure up images not just of saying goodbye to friends and moving to a new duty station but also of the time real life heroes took the time to invest in and mentor young lives…because heroes don’t wear capes, they wear dog tags!

Question:

How many kids attended Camp Hero this summer?

Answer:

We had 100 kids attend two sessions of Camp Hero – one on Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickam and one on Marine Corps Base Hawaii (50 each, ages 7 to 11 years)

Question:

Any unique activities?

Answer:

Kids faced their fears with a rope course at Coral Crater, they experienced a day in the life of a military member in “In Their Boots Day/Warrior Day”, and had a private tour of four different Polynesian cultures at the Polynesian Cultural Center. They also learned the Māori warrior dance, the Haka. They learned about flag etiquette, created their own cadence and received an ASYMCA coin during the closing ceremony of the camp.

Question:

What's next?

Answer:

We will be hosting three sessions of Robotics Camp in June and July. More info here.

If you or your company is interested in supporting Camp Hero and Robotics in Hawaii, contact Laurie Moore, Executive Director for ASYMCA Hawaii via email at executivedirector@asymcahi.orgClick here to donate