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Robins keeps children busy this summer with calendar of fun-filled events

Blanchella Casey, supervisory librarian, reads the book, "Big Smelly Bear" to preschool children at the library July 2. U. S. Air Force photo by Sue Sapp

Blanchella Casey, supervisory librarian, reads the book, "Big Smelly Bear" to preschool children at the library July 2. U. S. Air Force photo by Sue Sapp

Cameron Owens, 4,shows off the  jewelry she created with beads at Princess Camp.  U. S. Air Force photo by Sue Sapp

Cameron Owens, 4,shows off the jewelry she created with beads at Princess Camp. U. S. Air Force photo by Sue Sapp

Robins AFB, Ga. -- Robins has a calendar full of summertime activities to keep children from crying "I'm bored!"

Whether spending time at the base swimming pools or making friends at the Youth Center's summer camp, the base has something for children of any age to enjoy.

Brianne Wentworth, an administrative assistant with 78th Services' Outdoor Recreation, said Robins offers swimming lessons for children of all ages to learn the basics.

"The biggest activity we're offering is the swim lessons," she said. "We've got the Mommy and Me classes for the children from 0 to 3 years old. It's a lot of fun for the little ones to get out in the water and splash around. They get on the kickboards and they can sing and play in the water. It's called Mommy and Me, but it's for dads too - whichever parent wants to do it."

Ms. Wentworth said swim classes are also available for children 4 to 14 years old and for adults.

The two-week classes, which start again Tuesday, are $30 for the 'Mommy and Me' class and $40 for the youth and adult swim classes, Ms. Wentworth said.

"They just come up here and we'll get them all set up," she said. "It's a real quick, easy process."

Outdoor Recreation, which is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, also offers several ways for children to get out and have fun as well.

On July 21, Outdoor Recreation's Outdoor Adventure program will take to the water in Milledgeville, Ga., with a kayak adventure. Parents can register their children who are 10 and up for the trip for $130.

The Outdoor Adventure Program will also help older children who get out and enjoy summer with its Tree Climbing Adventure in Pine Mountain, Ga., on Aug. 11. Each kid, 10 and up, can register for the trip for $58.

For those that have some pent-up energy to get out, Outdoor Recreation will offer target paintball on Aug. 24 from 4 to 8 p.m. Youth ages 10 to 17 may participate with adult accompaniment. The cost is $28 per person.

If your plans carry you off base, Robins' Outdoor Recreation has the tools for summer fun.

"We rent baseball equipment like bats, gloves and bases," Ms. Wentworth said. "If the children want to go with their mom or dad one day, we've got the kayaks and the canoes. They can go down to Luna Lake on base and go canoe."

Outdoor Rec offers fishing licenses and rents boats, tents and other camping equipment to help make families' summer vacations more fun.

Families can get away from everyday hassles without having to go far from home with the base's Family Camp area. The area offers barbecue grills, a park and a lake where people can relax and enjoy family togetherness.

Ms. Wentworth said getting the right tools for recreation is easy.

By flashing base identification cards and paying a nominal fee, Ms. Wentworth said families can be well on their way to a family vacation.

Robins' Youth Center is also doing a lot to keep children entertained.

Debra Bargie, director of youth programs at Robins, said the Youth Center's Summer Camp Program helps children make friends and make the most of their break from school.

"We do arts and crafts," she said. "The children go swimming twice a week at the pools on the base. They go bowling."

Children also go on field trips to places like the Atlanta Zoo, the Foam Factory in Atlanta, Pine Mountain Safari, and Fort Discovery in Augusta, Ga.

The eight-week camp, which started the first week of June through the first week of August, is open to children 5 to 12 years of age. Five-year-olds must have finished kindergarten this year to participate in the camp program, Ms. Bargie said.

The day camp opens at 6:30 a.m. and ends at 6 p.m. each weekday evening.

While registration for the camp started in early March, the youth programs director said parents can still register their children by contacting the youth center.

"We still have a few openings for some weeks," she said. "Parents basically choose what weeks they want the children to come."

About 144 children are now enrolled in the summer program, Ms. Bargie said.

The youth center also runs a specialty camp for children 11 to 14 years old whose parents don't want to leave them home alone.

Each week, the camp focuses on different activities like art, wood working, water aerobics and other fun themes, Ms. Bargie said.

The youth center is also offering a fitness camp as part of the specialty camp. The fitness portion will run from July 16 to 20.

The center will host a horseback riding camp and tennis camp will be held at Robins July 30 to Aug. 3.

Ms. Bargie said parents of children 9 to 12 can pay $3 per month or $25 a year for their children to enjoy billiards, TV, basketball, foosball, the climbing wall, and other youth center amenities under adult supervision from 3 to 7 p.m. daily.

"We just have a good time here in the summer," she said. "We have a lot of children, a lot of good people. Many college students come in with good ideas and are willing to work with (the youth). We just have a good time in the summer."

For more information, people can come by the Youth Center in Bldg. 1021 on Hawkinsville Street or contact the center at 926-2110.

Robins' Community Center is bringing back the drive-in movie feel with its Movies in the Park program to give family members something they can enjoy together.

Lawn chairs, picnics and coolers are all welcome at the movie extravaganza held in Robins Park, located at the corner of Warner Robins and Macon streets. Families can enjoy free admission to family-friendly movies shown on an 18-foot by 23-foot inflatable screen.

Lynne Brackett, Community Center director at Robins, said the next movie to be shown will be "Cinderella" Aug. 17, with the show starting at dark, which will be around 8:30 p.m.

The Colossal Cookie Challenge, to be held in the community center ballroom Aug. 23, is another fun event the family can get involved in.

Amateur bakers will compete with cookies made from original, unpublished recipes in five categories, including no-bake, cookie maker special, healthy cookie, holiday and special occasion cookies.

Mrs. Brackett said base winners will compete at the Air Force Materiel Command level. The AFMC winner will compete at Air Force-level for a chance to have their recipe printed in the Colossal Cookie Challenge Cookbook as well as other prizes.

Families are welcome to come out and see the cookies on display; however, spectators can't taste the competing cookies, Mrs. Brackett said.

Robins' Enlisted Club in Bldg. 956 hosts its Family Bingo Night the last Monday of each month. The next event will be July 30.

The cost is $4 per pack, which includes all 10 games. Participants play for toys, like walkie talkies, transformers, keyboards and other entertaining items. Doors open at 5 p.m. and games start at 6 p.m.

So, whether it's swimming or making your own fun with friends and family, Robins is definitely the place to have fun this summer.