KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany – Finding care and activities for middle and high school students after school can be an uphill battle for parents, but the two youth centers at the US Army Garrison Rheinland-Pfalz (in Landstuhl and Baumholder) help bridge this gap.
âThe primary mission of the Youth and Youth Services (CYS) Youth Center is to reduce the conflict between mission requirements and parenting responsibilities,â said Ryan Flynn, director of youth programs at Baumholder Youth Center. In short, CYS supports the combatant by providing safe and supportive programs and environments, where their children are supervised and cared for by trained, supportive adult staff members while they focus on the military’s mission. . “
The Youth Center is a CYS program managed by the Garrison Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation. The program is free to high school and high school students, Grades 6 to 12, who wish to participate in a wide range of programs. Young people have access to various activity rooms, can participate in planned events such as field trips, and have opportunities for growth and development. The centers also offer periodic special events on Friday evenings and Saturdays.
Each youth center consists of several rooms for different activities and an outdoor space for sports. They have a room for doing their homework, technology rooms with computers and tablets, an entertainment center for playing video games and common areas with pool tables. Each center also offers ‘take out’ snacks in the kitchen, but under normal circumstances teens can cook or cook. Each location differs in what is offered.
Youth center staff also work with organizations in the United States that provide students with safe driving lessons, national art competitions, scholarships, and other clubs that children would normally have in the United States, such as the Keystone Club and the Torch Club. Some organizations even offer scholarships.
The relationship with organizations in the United States also gives youth centers a chance to receive grants. The organizations awarded several grants to the Baumholder Youth Center this year: $ 5,000 from the Boys and Girls Club of America and United Parcel Service Inc. (UPS) for the use of the UPS Highway Code, a safe driving program; $ 1,400 from BGCA and Major League Baseball to host MLB âReviving Baseball in Inner Citiesâ for children ages 6 to 8; and $ 10,000 from the BGCA for its artistic programs.
âThese funds have allowed us to reinvest directly into our youth program at Baumholder Teen Center,â said Flynn. He and the staff were able to purchase iMac computers for tech and art, 3D printers, STEAM and craft kits, gift cards, and many other supplies. “This ensures that our program spaces are modern, well stocked and offer a variety of activities for young members.”
During the summer, each youth center offers a full program. This summer, the Landstuhl Youth Center summer program devoted a week to learning about animal care. During this week the kids worked with the K9s for the veterans overseas. They learned about therapy dogs and were able to watch a demonstration of the handler’s work.
This interaction led the teens to form a relationship with the organization and start a service project during Community Service Week. Children at the youth center were also able to collect items like dog food, toys, blankets and treats and donate them to K9 for veterans overseas.
Lindsey Cole, deputy director of CYS, said service projects are vital for students at the center. âCommunity service projects that contribute locally or remotely give young people the opportunity to explore and develop their own leadership capacity and often inspire new plans for the future. It also gives young people the practice of socializing with adults, a skill beneficial to them during their school years and eventually into adulthood.
The two youth centers have changed their operation since the start of the pandemic to ensure everyone’s safety. Security measures in place include:
â¢ Capacity limited to 45 students.
â¢ Students must register before attending.
â¢ Temperatures are taken and disinfected by hand during recording
â¢ All equipment is used only once and is disinfected before reuse.
â¢ Wearing a mask is compulsory
â¢ Professional cleaning services are performed daily in addition to disinfection performed by staff.
Aidan, a high school student who attends the youth center said he loves the youth center. âBeing at the Teen Center is a great opportunity to meet new people and new friends. I also have plenty of time to finish my school homework too.
While Allison, a college student said, “It’s important because you can make new friends.”
âGiving young people a place to go outside of school and home where they can be themselves and participate in exciting activities that interest them is of great value, especially at this age,â Cole said. âParents in the community can have peace of mind and focus on their work and mission when their young people are at the youth center, knowing that their children are safe and having fun. “
To register a child for the Maison de la Jeunesse, call the Service Central Parents:
Baum holder: 0611-143-531-3440 / DSN: (314) 531-3440
Kaiserslautern: 0611-143-541-9065 / DSN: (314) 541-9065