Fort Campbell, KY - Arts and Military (Post 1)

Our trip began with the director of the YMCA, Shirley, introducing us to the site and explaining the background of many of the children we’re working with on our trip. Many of the kid’s parents are in the E5 class of the military living at or below poverty. On top of this, many of the children have a parent deployed.

Each day was split up by a theme and day one was circus day. It was a lot of fun juggling the responsibilities of a counselor and the attitude of a child…. JUGGLING. During the first day Nick Lazechko, one of the participants, had a blast carrying his team members on his back during the obstacle course.

This is Palmer. They left me at a gas station, but fortunately, they left the Fruit-by-the-Foot. #win #wherespalmer

Hey this is Sean Dogger Michael Seamus Miller. To sum up the day, Jessie announced to the kids “We’re going to the circus!” Which is at least a strong exaggeration, if not a blatant lie. The kids cheered and screamed and I heard a few “I’ve never been to the circus I can’t wait!” We didn’t actually go to any circus.

Hey there I’m Megan AKA Morgan apparently #ThanksNick. Well, day one was pretty awesomely fantastical for me. Getting to know my little kiddos and take them to the make believe circus was pretty great, especially since my kids are da bomb diggity.

Maddison here!! Getting to meet my wonderful fellow Red Glowy Fish was definitely the highlight of my day!

This is Levi Smith reporting live from Fort Campbell, KY. Day One was victorious for the Blue Kangaroos. They were thrilled to know that through teamwork, they were the team that rose above the rest. #bluekangaroosforlife

Hey! This is Thalia. The best part of circus day was making the spirit stick. All of the kids got so excited to be the “Candy Dinos” and color EVERYTHING orange, our team color.

Angela: The best part of the day was singing and dancing in a big group!..GO BANANAS!

Randy: Riley asked me to hold her hand to the obstacle course and then she proceeded to go through so quickly and had tons of fun!

Hey pals! This is Megan. This day was fun filled and full of imagination games. I love getting to hear the stories and jokes that each kid had. #ballerinaforlife Also, we so did not leave Palmer at a gas station. #werespalmer

Jessie: The circus obstacle course was such a hit! Each group got to go through it together to work on teamwork. I have to say, the Blue Kangaroos were super speedy! I loved seeing all the kids work together to ride the unicycle, walk on the tight rope, and jump through the hoops!

Day two was a real doozy! We spent our time taking our kids back in time with a dinosaur day. It was exploding with fun….. like a volcano

On Day 2 Nick helped the green astronauts tap into their inner engineers and build a 4 foot lego tower that wowed all who looked upon it. I’m struggling with the lack of food. Rations are becoming scarce. #wherespalmer

Dogger here again, Gray the five year-old may have been making up knowledge on dinosaurs. Although I cannot be certain, I made sure he knew I was skeptical.

Megert AKA Morgs back again. Day two was extremely sweet because two of my little kiddos know everything there is to know about dinosaurs. Seriously, I was in charge of story time, which was obviously a book about dinos and my kiddos corrected me when I said the names of the dinos because apparently I said it wrong EVERY time. Also, I’d like to add that my team is called the “Candy Dinos” so obviously we were the best.

Madds again! Today Jayce gave me a penny in exchange for some fake ice cream telling me to put it towards school. Well I guess that is one less penny to worry about. BREAKING NEWS! Marshmallow dinos were a fantastic success! The kiddos, more pumped about the consumption of marshmallows rather than the construction of them, made the ultimate t-rex replicas. This is Levi Smith, reporting live, Fort Campbell News. #marshtastic.

Thalia, again! The “make your own fossil” was a struggle. We had to think on our feet when the local store didn’t have plaster, making the flour+salt+water alternative mixture was “different.” When it came time to do the craft the kids loved hearing about fossils and making their hand print. Then tears (ours, not the kids’) happened again when we tried to pry off the “hand biscuits” from the cookie trays. The kids ended up painting them and they look great, but the struggle was real.

Angela: The kids had a great day today, they loved the dino theme…but probably not Palmers T-Rex impression.

Randy; I got to hang out with Natalie for a while and play with her and her pterodactyl. We built a house for it and she and I really enjoyed our time together. Hey pals! It’s Megan again. Dino day was a great success! I loved getting to see all the kids become super cool archeologists (paleontologists). They loved digging for dino bones so much! Also, we are NOT running out of food. #wherespalmer No.

Jessie: One of our kiddos here, Andrew, is in the process of being diagnosed with ADHD and other anxiety symptoms, but he has been such a blast to work with. Tuesday when his mom picked him up, she looked concerned as she explained the work he’s been going through with his therapist. I simply looked at her and said that he has been great (because he’s so awesome!). I loved seeing the brief look of relief on her face. I can’t imagine how it has been for her to see her son go through this, but I’m glad she was able to see her son interacting with other kids in such a positive way. I love preschoolers. They don’t judge.

Day three really got the kids swimming with excitement. It was under the sea day….. swimming.

Nick really began to realize just how much of an impact we are having on these kids after Shirley gave a speech about the camp and how much we are really helping the community.

I’ve made friends with a few of the coyotes here. The pack leader is named Mordecai. I’m making a great impression on him with my ability to build fires and quickly climbing the ranks among the pack. #wherespalmer

The Dog-Man here. The highest ranking general at Fort Campbell made his highest priority getting us onto the set of Nashville. Needless to say Hayden is no longer engaged to Wladimir Klitschko.

Meggy Bear reporting. So, Ocean day was super fun. We read stories, we painted, we ran in circles. Oh yeah and we toured the Fort Campbell headquarters and the highest ranking general here got us into the filming of the show Nashville. I’ve made my debut.

Maddie here! Playing legos one on one with little Andrew, a boy with ADHD, was definitely a great start to the day. OH and lets not forget pulling strings to get onto the set of Nashville!!

Lead reporter, Levi Smith, here. Today was perhaps my most enjoyable day marked with recess. My goal was to get a student, Alani, to open up and not to be so shy. I reigned successful when she shared with me her mad hula hoop skills with me. I even got to teach Max how to hula hoop. #notmadaboutit. For making military life easier, this is Levi once again, Fort Campbell News.

Thalia here! Venturing under the sea was a ton of fun! The kids loved making fish, jellyfish and star necklaces! After we were able to tour the local museum and hear all about military life and see the Fort Campbell heroes who are honored there. Then Shirley took us to the headquarters where the highest general made us a priority and took the time to chat.

Angela: Free time outside was the best today! Got to slide down the slides with Riley, play tag with Andrew, and try to hula-hoop with Alani. Many of the kids opened up today!

Randy; I got to have lots of time with Alani and really bond with her. She liked to play a game where she would hide behind me and move around so I couldn’t see her. She had so much fun and didn’t want to go home.

Hey pals! It’s Megan. Under the sea was a blast. We made so many ocean crafts, it was the best. These kids are the smartest. They are going to be the greatest farmers, astronauts, chiefs, paleontologists ever. So much fun! Also, Palmer is having a blast as well playing with kids, not coyotes #wheresplamer

Jessie: Today, Shirley talked to us about her experience with the military and why she is so passionate about these kids. She is such an inspiration because she has completely committed her life to service. Her humility and beautiful character set her apart from so many people I have met in my lifetime. I’m so grateful to have gotten to know her back story.

Whoo! That was a lot, but follow up our Twitter for daily updates: @MABFtCampbell

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