ELLICOTT, Colo. --
More than 30 Schriever Air Force Base Airmen and their spouses volunteered to assist Ellicott School District staff run the elementary school’s field days event May 23-25.
The three-day event is held annually during the school year’s final week.
“This is an end of the year celebration, and a way to reward the kids for their hard work,” said Chris Stroh, Ellicott Elementary physical education teacher and event organizer.
The volunteers play a vital role in the event’s success, Stroh added.
“If it wasn’t for the Schriever volunteers the event wouldn’t run as smoothly,” she said. “It’s great that they want to come out.”
The Airmen welcomed the opportunity to engage with the local community.
“I personally like working with kids and I really wanted to do this,” said Senior Airman Derrick Nicholson, 4th Space Operations Squadron. “We get a chance to impact them at a young age.”
For Staff Sgt. Felicia Hamilton, 4 SOPS, the event was an outlet to represent both Schriever and the Air Force.
“It’s fun,” she said. “The kids love us, so when they see us out here and they see the Air Force doing a good thing, it gives a good impression.”
Stroh said she can see how important the relationship is to both the kids and the Airmen.
“The kids love our guests (and) the bond the Airmen have with the kids is tremendous,” she said. “There are a couple volunteers who have come out for the last three or four years, and they volunteer for each day.”
The event included relay races, disc golf, bean bag toss, jump ropes and an obstacle course. Stroh said they wanted to stay away from “traditional” track and field events in order to keep the kids from waiting to participate.
“It’s not a traditional field day,” she said. “Those events lead to too much downtime and we want to keep the kids actively engaged.”
Grades K-5 students participated in the event, with kindergarten and first graders playing Monday, second and third grades taking their turn Tuesday and fourth and fifth grades closing the event Wednesday.
Having Airmen volunteer is beneficial to both the base and the district. The volunteers help strengthen the relationship between the base and the local community, and the district gets a chance to show off its facilities.
“It’s an opportunity to see the district outside of the school setting,” Stroh said. “It might make those who have their children enrolled in another district want to bring their kids here.”
For the volunteers, the main benefit was the chance to get out and have a good time with the students.
“It was a lot of fun,” Nicholson said. “Overall, I’d be glad to do it again next year.”