Camp Zama shows appreciation to military children all month long
CAMP ZAMA, Japan (April 30, 2013) -- All month long, various organizations showed their appreciation to military children here with a host of activities recognizing April as the Month of the Military Child.
Annually, during the month of April, military communities recognize and celebrate military children for their contributions and their capacity to endure so much.
Barbara Hopkins, acting Family Advocacy Program manager, said April is set aside to celebrate military children, who constantly adapt to different environments, cultures and are constantly moving around with their families.
"We have so many things for the adults, but we don't have so many things for the children," said Hopkins. "The Month of the Military Child is a way to say, 'Thank you for being so awesome.'"
Camp Zama's military children were offered activities such as a bowling event, a pool party, a movie night, a Candy Land-themed Spring Ball, and a fishing derby.
Camp Zama also held the Youth Volunteer Recognition Ceremony April 16 to recognize youth who gave back to the community through their many volunteer efforts.
Although the month was dedicated to military children, outreach classes were also held the entire month to give parents a few skills to better communicate with their military children.
"[The classes were meant] to help families be more resilient and cohesive," said Hopkins.
Tyrone Greene, a Morale, Welfare and Recreation employee here, said the Month of the Military Child events held at Camp Zama give families an incentive to spend more time together.
Recognizing military children is important because they endure many unique challenges, said Greene, who added, "A military child is strong."
Military children are strong because they can spend months separated from a parent, but they continue to support and help their families during those times, said Greene.
"I help my mom clean up," said Tavarcia Greene, 6.
The month of activities ended with a Military Child Celebration Extravaganza held April 30 at the Sagamihara Family Housing Area Child Development Center. The children were treated to magic shows, inflatable bouncing castles, a petting zoo, games and food. Japanese children from the nearby Hosen Child Center were also in attendance.
Turkessa Walker, director of the SFHA CDC, said the bilateral cultural event was a great way to conclude the Month of the Military Child.