Resilience camp held for unit member's kids

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Nathanial Taylor
  • 167AW/PA
Twenty Four 167th Airlift Wing member's kids attended a resiliency camp on base, June 9-10, to learn important skills on how to manage stress.

The camp, which was a joint effort between the 167th Wing Care Team and the Martinsburg Starbase, was created to mirror the content and message of the Air Force's Comprehensive Airmen Fitness program and its four pillars concept.

"The four pillars that [it] highlights are emotional, physical, social and spiritual," said Alison Duncan, the 167th Airlift Wing director of psychological health. "We wanted to do a play on that [program] and incorporate some fun activities that are more experiential for the kids."

For the camp, instructors from Starbase performed experiments or led the kids in activities that were geared toward an aspect of one of the four pillars. Following the activity, a member of the Wing Care Team would then connect what the kids just did or observed with that particular pillar concept in a short lesson.

For example, one experiment involved the instructor creating a chemical reaction while the kids looked on. The lesson after the experiment was on faith and how, like chemical reactions, we have to have faith in life about things that we can't always see.

According to Duncan, this format allows the kids to have fun while also educating them on the important concepts associated with resiliency using the same terminology that their parents learn through the comprehensive fitness program.

"Overall, we want the kids to be speaking the same language that their parents are learning through the classes offered by the master resiliency trainers on base," Duncan said.

The Comprehensive Airman Fitness program focuses on the whole person with all aspects of the four pillar concept working together to balance a person's life; a concept that Duncan said the camp emphasizes as well.

"Some kids might already have a good foundation in say, social resilience," Duncan said. "They might not have tapped into any of the other pillars before. So [the camp] is where we can teach them that they can rely on their spiritual side, or their emotional or physical side as well."  

For Sherry Lewis, the 167th Airlift Wing Airman & Family Readiness Program Manager, the structure of the camp allows the kids to learn and grow in important areas while keeping them engaged with fun activities.

"The goal was to make it as fun as it is educational," Lewis said. "Resiliency is important and at a young age, it is the perfect time to get them thinking about how to handle certain situations. [Children] are like sponges at a young age, learning how to cope and deal with things now is only going to benefit their resiliency in the future."