News: Water, water everywhere: MCB Hawaii residents attend Summer Splashdown
Story by Kristen Wong
MARINE CORPS BASE HAWAII - Annette Robertson brought her granddaughter Victoria to the Super Playground near Riseley Field on base on the morning of July 13, 2013, not knowing that more fun lay ahead.
The Wisconsin resident noticed staff and volunteers setting up nearby, and found out that she was just in time for the annual Summer Splashdown.
“The timing (was) perfect,” she said. “It’s really so wonderful to see so many events and so many fun games for the different ages. The event is well organized. I can’t say enough how wonderful this base is and what they offer.”
Robertson and her granddaughter joined approximately 300 attendees at the Child, Youth and Teen Program-sponsored event.
“There’s a lot of help, a lot of fun things for kids to do,” said Kathy Kim, the director of the Youth Activities Center.
Marine Corps Community Services staff members and volunteers set up various water activities along the field. Kyle Palma, a volunteer from the Youth Activities Center, was one of a number of people helping with the event.
Palma, 15, spent the prior day painting fish on a game board for one of the activities. Oahu was his inspiration for the game board.
“We needed to come up with a summer idea,” he said. “It’s a beautiful island with beautiful fish. I think it turned out pretty good.”
Many children closed their eyes as they flew down an inflatable water slide and landed in a small pool of water. Some emerged from the tiny pool eagerly returning to the line for another turn.
Children tossed softballs at a target, hoping to dunk one of the volunteers in a tank of water. Many missed their mark and instead ran up to push the button by hand, for a gratuitous dunk.
After being asked which activity she enjoyed the most, Olive Marsden
thought for a moment, smiled and threw her hands up.
“I like all of them!” she said.
Some children paused from their summer fun just long enough to scarf down a free cup of ice cream. Adults were also able to visit resource tables on the quieter side of the venue, to get information about various programs on base.
Families were able to dip special bubble making tools into tubs of soap water to create large bubbles. Henry and Madison Frazier spent a portion of their second splashdown catching bubbles.
Henry said he liked being able to have fun at events like the splashdown. Madison concurred, saying she liked the fact that the children had the freedom to play at the event.
Katie Sykes and her family attended the splashdown for their third year, July 13.
She said she liked the event because it was “confined fun,” which made it easier to keep her children from wandering.
“The girls think it’s a lot of fun,” Sykes said.
Her daughters in particular enjoyed the water slide and playing with
Lara Hayes, who brought her family to their third splashdown, said this year’s event is smaller than the previous year, which made it less intimidating for the younger children.
“It’s nice to come out and have the kids enjoy themselves on a summer’s day,” Hayes said.