A Camp Sunshine participant locks the safety on his BB gun during weapons safety training at Maxwell Air Force Base July 22, 2014. This is the 12th year Maxwell is hosting the Camp Sunshine Program. The annual program allows Airmen to mentor local area boys through a week of activities including swimming, basketball and arts and crafts. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Michael Voss)
A Camp Sunshine participant fires his toy-rifle at a target during the week-long event hosted on Maxwell Air Force Base July 22, 2014. This is the 12th year Maxwell is hosting the Camp Sunshine Program. The annual program allows Airmen to mentor local area boys through a week of activities including swimming, basketball and arts and crafts. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Michael Voss)
Tukabatachee Area Boy Scouts of America members show Montgomery Public Housing Community members archery techniques during the 12th annual Camp Sunshine Program at Maxwell Air Force Base July 22, 2014. Camp Sunshine is a week-long camp for boys from various neighborhoods in the River Region community. During the camp, Maxwell Airmen and the boy scouts mentor and guide the boys through various activities. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Erica Picariello)
by Senior Airmen Ineke Honingh
42nd Air Base Wing Public Affairs
7/30/2014 - MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Al -- This week, Airmen from Maxwell Air Force Base and volunteers from the Tukabatachee Area Boy Scouts of America hosted 50 boys from Montgomery's public housing communities for the 12th annual Camp Sunshine program.
Camp Sunshine is a week-long camp for boys ages 6 - 12 from different neighborhoods around the local River Region community.
The free camp is packed with a week of swimming, target practice, crafts and military-working-dog demonstrations, and brings the Boy Scouts mission into communities it is unable to reach on a daily basis.
"The partnership with Maxwell has been great," explained Michael Collins, Boy Scouts executive and Camp Sunshine director. "The hope is at the end of the week, the children will have enjoyed themselves and we can keep them more involved in the program and affect them on a long-term basis."
The 25 to 30 boys that attend each day filled the air with smiles while choosing from a variety of different activities from target practice to arts and crafts.
"Mostly, I played football and basketball and we shoot bow and arrows," said Rondeal Bolston, Camp Sunshine attendee.
In addition to helping set up the events, Maxwell volunteers provide the boys an opportunity to engage with military members and serve as role models for the attendees.
"I enjoy spending time with them, being a mentor and asking questions to find out what they like to do and what they want to do with their life," said Tech. Sgt. Antonio Lett, non-commissioned officer in charge, Air University Commander's Action Group and Camp Sunshine volunteer. "Hopefully, I can make an impact and give them guidance to get them in the right direction."
The Camp Sunshine program has been a fixture of the Montgomery Boy Scouts community for 20 years, and Maxwell plans to continue hosting the event in the foreseeable future.