Fall Family Day combines education, fun

Virginia National Guard families learn about litter control and enjoy activities like mini-golf, laser tag and go-carts during the Fall Family Day held in recognition of Military Family Appreciation Month and hosted by the Virginia National Guard Youth Program Nov. 14, 2015, at Iron Bridge Sports Park in Chester, Va.  (Photo by Cotton Puryear, Virginia National Guard Public Affairs Office)

Virginia National Guard families learn about litter control and enjoy activities like mini-golf, laser tag and go-carts during the Fall Family Day held in recognition of Military Family Appreciation Month and hosted by the Virginia National Guard Youth Program Nov. 14, 2015, at Iron Bridge Sports Park in Chester, Va. (Photo by Cotton Puryear, Virginia National Guard Public Affairs Office)

CHESTER, Va. — Virginia National Guard families learned about litter control and enjoyed activities like mini-golf, laser tag and go-carts during the Fall Family Day held in recognition of Military Family Appreciation Month and hosted by the Virginia National Guard Youth Program Nov. 14, 2015, at Iron Bridge Sports Park in Chester, Va. Representatives from Chesterfield County Parks and Recreation brought their mobile trailer with information about their education program called Conquer the Wave of Trash. The litter team provided hands-on learning, games and prizes.

The idea behind the event was a combination of showing appreciation for military families along with a kick off for a partnership with Chesterfield County for future community service projects, explained Silena Callis, child and youth coordinator in the Virginia National Guard Family Programs office.

“We really wanted to get our families engaged in the community and bring them together,” Callis said. “Military youth and families are engaged with their community and like to get involved, so this will be a building block for future activities.”

The effort started with Pam Cooper, Chesterfield County anti-litter program manager. Callis said that she wanted to begin with a learning session that would lead to future engagement with families in the community. Cooper was able to secure grant funding to cover the costs for the fun activities at Iron Bridge Sports Park.

The Family Day was the latest in a series of events sponsored by the Youth Programs office to help bring Guard youth and teens together and teach leadership and resiliency. Since many Guard families are geographically disbursed across the state, the Youth Programs office plans activities that allow young people to meet others in similar situations and build relationships that last long after the event is over.

For more information about upcoming activities, visit the Youth Program Facebook page.