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Campers explore Army post

Children treated to tours, lunch

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POSTED: August 3, 2009 10:30 a.m.
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A camper from the Masonic Home of Georgia tests out a communications system during a group tour of Fort Stewart.

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Every year the Masonic Home of Georgia, which is in Macon, sponsors a summer camp program for children at their Shellman’s Bluff campsite. This year, nearly 20 lucky campers got an added treat when they were given a complete tour of Fort Stewart a few weeks ago.
According to Hinesville/Fort Stewart Shrine spokesman Jim Williams, all the kids had a great time and were thrilled with the activities planned for their daylong adventure.
Williams said campers
began their morning outside the Fort Stewart Museum where they climbed on and explored battle tanks and heavy equipment before boarding shuttles to the firing range.
“They got to see how the bug guns are fired,” Williams said. “They were totally impressed.”
Next, the campers were ushered into the mess hall for some Army-style chow -- but not before taking a behind-the-scenes tour and meeting the chefs, who demonstrated how to use the industrial kitchen’s large pots and pans to make a meal.
“And they took them to the big pantries and the kids all came out wearing cooks’ hats,” Williams said.
After eating, the children walked to Warriors’ Walk and learned about the significance of the monument, which includes one eastern red bud tree for each 3rd ID soldier who has lost his or her life in the line of duty.
Williams asked David Akers, the active duty soldier who coordinated the entire day’s activities, to explain what the trail represented.
“He did an outstanding
job explaining it,” Williams said. “Afterward, we went back to the Fort Stewart Museum and they were given a walking, talking tour of the entire museum. And what impressed us, after a tiring day, was the kids were asking questions.”
But the icing on the cake came three days later when Akers, also a pilot, brought his plane out to Wright Army Airfield and gave the children private flights.
Williams said he is grateful to Akers and all the soldiers at Fort Stewart who gave their hearts and attention to the children during their visit.
 

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