Smiling faces and laughter filled the campus for The Barry Robinson Center’s fourth annual Month of the Military Child Spring Fling on Saturday, April 6.
Despite cool weather and slightly damp conditions, spirits were high as residents and their families enjoyed many activities.
These included watching a thrilling Chesapeake Police K-9 demonstration, controlling U.S. Navy bomb detection robots, touring a Coast Guard patrol boat and meeting animals from Circle A Home for Horses. An inflatable slide, corn hole, face painting, delicious picnic fare and fresh-popped popcorn rounded out the fun.
“We celebrate children from military-connected families because our kids and parents serve right alongside the military member. These kids encounter different challenges dues to multiple moves and deployments. We recognize this, and say thank you for what you do,” said CEO Rob McCartney. “Military service also brings many benefits, and the resilience we see in our military-connected kids is amazing.”
Breakfast with the Boss marked the start of the Spring Fling, where parents joined McCartney for an opportunity to provide their feedback about the Center.
A brief ceremony kicked off the main event, with Virginia Beach’s Princess Anne High School NJROTC cadets presenting the colors and leading the Pledge of Allegiance. Sister Emily Faubion, the Center’s spiritual life coordinator, offered a blessing for the families, followed by McCartney sharing brief remarks and encouraging everyone to “go have fun.”
Recognizing Month of the Military Child has become an important tradition at the Center. Unique experiences and needs unite military-connected families. That’s why the Center’s residential treatment program is completely focused on serving children and teens from military-connected families.
“After we became a TRICARE-approved provider in 2012, we began treating more military-connected kids,” said McCartney. “Over time, our clinicians and other staff members – many of whom have military experience – began to align our program structure to meet the unique needs of these kids and their families. As a result, we’ve become more intentional in fostering an environment that’s conducive to their success in treatment.”
Since 2013, the Center has served more than 500 military-connected children from about three dozen states and several other countries.