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Team Shaw kids learn there is always hope

Team Shaw children participate in a blind taste test during a week-long Youth Resiliency Camp at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina, July 31, 2019.

Team Shaw children participate in a blind taste test during a week-long Youth Resiliency Camp at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina, July 31, 2019. The activity showed how minds can make things scarier than they truly are. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Destani K. Matheny)

Team Shaw children participate in a three-legged race during a week-long resiliency camp at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina, Aug. 2, 2019.

Team Shaw children participate in a three-legged race during a week-long resiliency camp at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina, Aug. 2, 2019. The race was part of a series of activities that focused on different aspects of the resiliency pillars: social, mental, physical and spiritual. (U.S Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Destani K. Matheny)

Team Shaw children participate in a week-long Youth Resiliency Camp social class at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina, July 29, 2019.

Team Shaw children participate in a week-long Youth Resiliency Camp social class at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina, July 29, 2019. The goal activity taught the children how to communicate efficiently and get out of a “knot”. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Destani K. Matheny)

A Team Shaw child laughs with a peer during a game at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina, July 29, 2019.

A Team Shaw child laughs with a peer during a game at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina, July 29, 2019. The 20th Force Support Squadron Youth Center chose this game during a Youth Resiliency Camp as part of the social aspect of the course to teach children communicate thoughtfully and effectively with those around them. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Destani K. Matheny)

A Team Shaw child flies a kite during a week-long Youth Resiliency Camp at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina, July 30, 2019.

A Team Shaw child flies a kite during a week-long Youth Resiliency Camp at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina, July 30, 2019. Flying kites was part of the spiritual section of the course and showed the children that even if the wind is not blowing the way they want it to they should not give up. (U.S. Air Force phot by Airman 1st Class Destani K. Matheny)

SHAW AIR FORCE BASE, S.C. -- SHAW AIR FORCE BASE, S.C. –Team Shaw children participated in a Youth Resiliency Camp, which focused on building strong social, spiritual, physical and mental pillars, July 29 - Aug. 2.

The 20th Force Support Squadron Youth Center hosted the program to give 10 to 18 year-old children a grasp on how to be resilient with the stressors that come from being part of a military family.

“Resiliency is important at every age, and probably more so in this generation,” said Tech. Sgt. Shara Haddenham, 50th Attack Squadron operational medical technician and youth resiliency camp event leader. “The hope is to impart skill sets to help them as they move, start a new school, learn to be social outside of technology and to help them cope with life’s challenges.”

During the camp, the kids participated in activities which resembled each of the four Comprehensive Airman Fitness pillars: social, spiritual, physical and mental.

“For the social pillar, we wanted to focus on our social skills,” said Master Sgt. Leslie Clark, 20th Maintenance Group plans, scheduling and documentation section chief and Youth Resiliency Camp team leader. “We made a human knot and we had to communicate and work as a team while not speaking over one another to try to find a solution.”

Staff Sgt. Isaiah Resto, 20th Comptroller Squadron budget supervisor and Youth Resiliency Camp team leader, spoke about the spiritual pillar. He mentioned how life has new challenges but you have the ability to overcome them with the spiritual pillar, which will anchor you through the unknown.

“As life throws those curveballs at you, you have to be able to navigate through them all,” said Resto. “As those wind currents come against you, you have to be able to stand through it and know who you are. That is what the kite symbolizes, going through wind and turbulence, in the mist of all that, you don’t lose the integrity of who you are.”


Team leads came up with a game and blind taste testing to focus on mental resiliency, representing how their minds might make things scarier than they actually are, said Haddenham.

“In the physical pillar, they built or constructed a contraption from random objects to protect an egg,” said Haddenham. “The egg itself represented them as a person and the objects represented the four pillars. You need all four to bounce back from a fall.”

Haddenham said this was the first year of the event and her hope is that they can continue to make it better each year.

Haddenham said on the last day of camp they incorporated all four pillars into separate activities. They had an egg drop, which represented physical, a 3-legged race, which represented social, a bean bag toss, which represented mental and kite flying, which represented spiritual.

The Youth Resiliency Camp allowed Team Shaw kids to spend deliberate time to nurture their social, spiritual, physical and mental pillars. Many of the kids said they planned to attend again next year, and to bring friends so they can grow together.