DEFY program offers fun, education

Capt. Carrie Pedersen
Contributing writer

***image1***In a fun-filled graduation ceremony at the indoor go-cart track in Erfenbach, 21 youth from the KMC concluded the 2003 – 2004 Drug Education For Youth program.
The ten month program includes a summer camp and monthly workshops through the school year. It is designed to help youth between the ages of 9 and 12 build positive traits that help them say no to drugs, gangs and violence; and to be a strong individual in the future.
“I learned many things, but most of all I learned some things I would have found out in my teenage years,” said DEFY graduate David Brooks. “We learned about drugs and alcohol, inhalants, how to say no easily to your friends and that your friends may in one way or another ask you to take some.”
DEFY begins each summer with a week-long day-camp.
During the camp the youth interact with multiple agencies on and off base to learn what the base provides. They also participate in physical fitness activities and field trips.
Some of this year’s favorite activities involved learning or enhancing specific skills.
“We had to blindfold ourselves and then figure out who had the biggest shoes without looking or talking,” said DEFY graduate Colton Remedies.
“It taught me that you can’t argue when you’re working as a team, don’t argue about each little thing — talk it out.”
The program takes place at Kapaun Air Station.
The summer day-camp runs from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. July 19 to 23 July.
Fifty KMC youth from ages 9 to 12 will participate on a first come, first serve basis.
“The program has provided our daughter with many informative subjects, as well as to be a part of a unique team of folks,” said Senior Master Sgt. Douglas Walker, father of DEFY graduate Cassandra, who has volunteered to be a junior mentor in the upcoming program.
“This will better prepare her in the future by being armed with the knowledge of certain items that are illegal or just harmful,” he said.
For an application, visit Ramstein Bldg. 2121, Room 339, or call 479-2395 or 06371-46-2395.

DEFY seeks volunteer mentors in July and the entire school year. To volunteer, contact Michelle Padgett at 479-2395 or michelle.padgett