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Team Shaw kids learn there is always hope

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Destani K. Matheny
  • 20 Fighter Wing Public Affairs
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.