News: Fun in the sun: HMH-366 takes families to kids cam
Story by Lance Cpl. Scott L. Tomaszycki
CAMP ALBEMARLE, N.C. — Marines and their families enjoyed a unique day at Camp Albemarle during Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 366’s family day, July 14.
HMH-366 holds family days quarterly to enhance family readiness, esprit de corps, and operational readiness.
“Family readiness for us is critical,” said Lt. Col. Tim Anderson, the squadron’s commanding officer. “If Marines are worried about what’s going on with their families, they can’t focus on the job at hand. It’s important for us to make sure the families are taken care of.”
Anderson holds to the philosophy that the more fun a family day is, the stronger the bonding experience. The squadron often schedules family events off the air station to take advantage of as many recreational resources as possible in the local community.
Camp Albemarle is run by the Presbytery of New Hope and holds summer camps for children. Located on Bogue Sound, it boasts amenities including kayaks, canoes, a soccer field, volleyball courts, an alpine tower and recreational tree climbing equipment.
The staff also has an understanding of military life and how a good family day can help a unit.
Sarah Smith, an assistant camp director, said she and other staff members have military family ties. She remembers going to unit picnics with her father and feeling like the whole unit was one big extended family.
The squadron also includes its single Marines in the family experience. Lance Cpl. Gabriel Labrada, a CH-53E crew chief and a bachelor, enjoyed himself as well.
“It’s nice to get away from base,” said Labrada. “They have boats, they have food and paddle boarding and all that. It makes us all feel more like family.”