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    Snow Bash 2018 brings Idaho National Guard children together, builds resiliency

    Snow Bash 2018 brings Idaho National Guard children together, builds resiliency

    Photo By Capt. Robert Taylor | Sara Darney leads Skyler Rash through an obstacle course during the Idaho National...... read more read more



    Story by Capt. Robert Taylor 

    Joint Force Headquarters, Idaho National Guard

    The Idaho National Guard’s Child and Youth Services program hosted Snow Bash 2018 in mid-January to bring military children from around the state together in one place, Cascade, Idaho.

    “A lot of this is teaching resiliency training to military kids so they know how to cope with deployments and know that there’s a support system always there for them,” said Katie Kohlbecker, whose dad serves in the Idaho Army National Guard.

    During the four-day camp, military children spent time with other military children, playing games that encourage team building and leadership skills while participating in lessons in small groups that reinforce resiliency using lessons that fit the camp’s theme, which was Beyond Camp Wonderland.

    “I really like it, it’s fun,” Elijah Maisey said. “Everyone is the same because we all have parents in the military. It’s different than interacting with kids at school because most kids at school don’t have parents in the military and don’t know what it’s like to have a parent gone.”

    Masiey, whose dad serves in the Idaho Army National Guard, said his dad has only deployed once in his life but has traveled often throughout the country for his job.

    Several key Idaho National Guard leaders visited the camp, including Col. Farin Schwartz, assistant adjutant general - Army/commander, Idaho Army National Guard; Col. Britt Vanshur, director of staff, Idaho Air National Guard; and Chief Master Sgt. Harold Bongiovi, state senior enlisted leader.

    “It’s so rewarding for me to hear what this program has to offer,” Schwartz told campers. “It’s rewarding to see the development of the older kids who have transitioned from campers, to counselors to chaperons.”

    Children enrolled in the Idaho National Guard Child and Youth Services program can attend the annual camp starting when they are 10. They are eligible to be a camp counselor at 14 if they’ve attended two camps previously and can become a chaperone at 18.

    “I wouldn’t be where I am or who I am today without this program,” Kohlbecker said. “It’s taught me I have friends and support all over the state. It’s taught me to become a strong and influential leader, not only with the military kids here, but also taking those skills outside of here, whether it’s my school or other positions I hold.”

    Kohlbecker has attended at least 10 camps and is the state’s alternate representative, the number two youth leader in the program. In addition, she also serves as her student council’s secretary.

    The program’s next youth camp will be in June.



    Date Taken: 01.31.2018
    Date Posted: 01.31.2018 13:16
    Story ID: 264110
    Location: BOISE, ID, US 

    Web Views: 287
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