EL PASO, Texas - Trick or Treat, be so sweet, give me something good to eat, if you don’t, I don’t care, I’ll make you a Jar-o-Lantern?
The Milam Youth activity center on East Fort Bliss is stirring up the Halloween spirit with Spooky Arts and crafts classes from 4 to 6 p.m. every Wednesday during the month of October, that are free to all Department of Defense dependents ages 11 to 18.
With Halloween right around the corner, the MYAC has switched from its summer themes to something a little spookier, like Jar-O-Lanterns: decorative glass mason jars that resemble Halloween pumpkins and other Halloween decor. When you light the candle on the inside of the jar it gives off a colorful glow that brings forth a spooky festive ambience.
“I love these spooky activities. The seasonal events are my favorite,” said Thalia Schober, a 7th grader from Ross Middle School. “I get to make new friends and just have fun.”
“The seasonal arts and crafts take these teenagers back to their childhood,” said Susan Goss, program director for the MYAC. “Most of the arts and crafts the kids do here are donated to places like the School for the Blind, homeless shelters, and to our soldiers overseas.”
Over the past three years the MYAC has donated thousands of arts and crafts to various places around the world and plans to continue this time honored tradition for many more years to come.
“The MYAC is more than an activity center. It is an experience, and experience that my kids here will never forget,” said Goss. “They have great food and friendly staff here. I’m getting so excited the closer we get to Halloween,” said Kaytlin Welch, an 8th grader also from Ross middle school. “I know they are going to have something awesome in store for us and I just can’t wait.”
Besides the arts and crafts, the MYAC offers the children culinary skills training, rock climbing, musical band opportunities, basketball, football, volleyball, soccer, a skate park, video games, movies, and the list goes on. Although this is a great adventure for teens, it is also a great opportunity for soldiers to volunteer and mentor the teenagers.
“We love it when the soldiers show up to help out. A lot of these kids need mentors, and our service men and women have so much experience they can share with them,” said Goss. “Soldiers are always welcomed to come and hang out with our young men and women. It means so much to them.”
Goss said that she views the MYAC as her extended family and cares for them as if they were her own children.
“It may seem as if we only play games and do arts and crafts,” said Goss. “Those things are only a taste of what we do here; we teach life skills and develop our kids for the future.”
For enrollment information, contact Parent Central Services is at Building 1743 on Fort Bliss. A satellite office is also located in Building 503B.