HomeNewsArticle Display

Cannon Kids Learn to BOUNCE Back

Children, instructors and parents pose for a group photo at Cannon Air Force Base, N. M., August 2, 2018. This was Cannon’s first annual BOUNCE camp to teach young military dependents about resilience. (U. S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Gage Adison Daniel)

CANNON AIR FORCE BASE, N. M. -- Children ages 11-15 participated in Cannon’s first BOUNCE camp, a week long resiliency course at Cannon Air Force Base, N. M., July 30 - Aug. 3.

BOUNCE stands for Be optimistic, Observe thoughts, Use strengths, Never give up, Communicate effectively and Embrace you. The program uses the four Comprehensive Airman Fitness pillars (physical, spiritual, mental, and social) to assess, understand, and help the kids maintain what they learned throughout the week.

“Building resilience in military youth is something we need to do, considering all of the things going on in schools such as bullying and suicides,” said Sarah Williams, Airman and Family Readiness Center school liaison officer. “And not just our military kids, but youth in general need to learn resilience. It’s a life-long skill.”

According to Jennifer Hurtig, Preservation of the Force and Family community and peer network coordinator, the training is focused on and looking at how the brain reacts to different situations and learning to control our reactions in an effective way.

“With constant moving and deployments, kids need to learn to be resilient and optimistic,” Sarah said. “The program teaches them how to bounce back from the situations they are facing and express how they feel more fluently.”

During feedback and upon asking more questions, the instructors were able to see the growth of the children as they would apply things taught in previous lessons to tackle new challenges in a different activity.

“They learned to change the way they think and learned to approach things differently,” Sarah said.

Throughout the 2017-18 school year BOUNCE was able to reach five different schools in Clovis, enabling and 681 kids to participate in the program.

BOUNCE will continue next year with a more fluid and refined program on base for another camp as well as continue to visit Clovis schools while also planning to reach the Portales school district.

“We are hoping that the children reached will ultimately use it in their everyday life and that it will rub off on other kids, on and off base. The more kids using it will hopefully contribute to a healthier and more fit community,” Sarah said.