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Photo Caption: Wiesbaden community youths enjoy a fast-paced ride during a School Age Center Summer Camp trip. (Photo Credit: Karl Weisel (Wiesbaden Family and MWR))

August 23, 2016
Karl Weisel, Wiesbaden and Family MWR

WIESBADEN, Germany - Wiesbaden youths enjoyed a heaping helping of science, fitness, history and the arts -- but most of all fun -- during this year's School Age Centers Summer Camp Program.

"When the kids are out of school during the summer months, we flip the script," said Hainerberg SAC instructor Carolyn Simms, explaining that a rich variety of summer trips, age-appropriate games, art and science projects are aimed at keeping children engaged during summer vacation.

SAC Summer Camp participants enjoyed everything from roller skating at the Vogelweh Skating Rink to delving into Roman history at the Saalburg Fortress, getting close to nature at the Klotten Wildlife Park to digging deeper into science at the Sinsheim Technik Museum.

"I like Summer Camp because it's cool," said Silas Hochheimer. "It's great being with my friends."

The 11-year-old Hainerberg SAC participant said this was his fifth year participating. "I really liked the Lava Dome trip -- you go underground in a mine and learn about volcanoes."

Dylan Baugh, a newcomer to Wiesbaden who recently moved from Fort Rucker, Ala., echoed Hochheimer's appraisal of Summer Camp. "So far there have been lots of nice kids here, and the staff is really nice. They do a great job of taking care of us."

Getting youths "away from the computer and actually exercising," is another benefit of the program, said Simms. "This lets them change the routine of sitting in the classroom all day during school."

Youths also learn social skills and about protecting the environment, she said. "Every time we go out they learn they have to keep the environment clean."

Euneke Couts volunteered to help chaperone the Aug. 16 trip to the Lochmuehle Amusement Park after her daughter, Gabby, told her "how much fun the trips are. I figured I'd take a day off of work and see what it's all about."

Couts said she was pleased with how SAC helped her daughter make friends and transition into the Wiesbaden military community. "She integrates really well, and all of the people are super friendly. They also help her keep up with her homework during the school year."

Fellow Hainerberg SAC instructor Richard Bolton said throughout the year SAC participants continue to have a wide variety of opportunities for social interaction and learning. With programs such as Character Counts, science, reading, sports, Sewing Club, etc. they have diverse avenues for personal growth. "What really gets them reading is their peers," he added.

Hainerberg School Age Center held an open house on Aug. 26 to give newcomers a better idea of the many activities and programs available at the center. The center, located in Building 7894 in Hainerberg Housing, currently has openings. For more information call the center at civ (0611) 143-548-9331.