AZ Guard hosts annual volunteer workshop and youth symposium

AZ Guard hosts annual volunteer workshop and youth symposium

PHOENIX – Participants of the Arizona National Guard’s 2015 Youth Symposium play a game of human foosball at the Wigman Resort Aug. 8. During the week-end long event, child and youth program activities focused on team work, confidence, and physical fitness and highlighted the importance of communication and working together. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Spc. Wes Parrell/Released)

PHOENIX – The Arizona National Guard Family Programs hosted the 2015 State Volunteer Workshop and Youth Symposium at the Wigwam resort, here Aug. 7-9.

Volunteers supporting units of the Arizona National Guard participated in a week-end long workshop designed around getting back to the basics.  The weekend began with volunteers being introduced to basic training concepts; learning military customs and courtesies, and drill and ceremony. The remainder of the weekend focused on the development of functional volunteer skills through team building exercises, familiarization of rank structures and military acronyms. 

“The strength and success of our organization is built on the foundation of our military families,” said 1st Lt. Steven Brown, education officer for the Arizona National Guard Soldier Support Division. “Family Readiness Group volunteers provide the means to stay connected with families, and provide support and resources they may need, many of which are unique to the military family lifestyle.”

The Youth Symposium was designed to build confidence and resilience in military dependents aged 6-17.  During the event, participants engaged in activities focusing on team work, confidence, and physical fitness. Games such as human foosball and Skilltrac showed kids the importance of working together and communication. Other educational events focused on dealing with bullying, building resilience and living the Army values.   

“We want kids to be entertained and engaged as we educate them on key issues they face daily,” explained Army Sgt. Ciara Laboy, a military youth leader for the Arizona National Guard Family Programs. “Giving them tools to help with the stresses and challenges that today’s youth face builds a stronger more resilient child for the future.”

This year’s volunteer workshop hosted more than 40 volunteers and over 60 youth participated in the symposium.  

Volunteer positions throughout the state are still available.  Anyone wishing to volunteer with the Arizona National Guard should Contact Mikie Hoeye, senior Arizona National Guard support assistant at (520)750-5332.