Youngsters taking part in a special “Survivor Week” camp at the Mills County YMCA got to spend a day with a team of Survival, Evasion, Resistance, Escape (SERE) specialists from Offutt Air Force Base last Tuesday.
The airmen coordinated a full day of activities for the youngsters, ranging from camouflage painting and shelter building to food procurement and signaling. The campers had the opportunity to experience night vision goggles, see a demonstration by the Offutt AFB K-9 team and even eat edible bugs.
“We do weekly camps. We do different themes every week,” Mills County YMCA Youth and Family / Day Camp Manager Jennifer Zeitler said. “This week happens to be Survivor Week.”
Zeitler, a military veteran, said the airmen added a unique perspective to the Survivor Week theme.
In addition to experiencing the survival tactics utilized by the SERE specialists, the young campers learned about the importance of teamwork. During the shelter building portion of the day at Glenwood Lake Park, the campers were divided into three teams and each child was given a specific task to help build a shelter that would protect the entire team from the elements.
TSgt. Ryan O’Rourke, one of the SERE presenters from Offutt Air Force Base, said he and his fellow airman enjoyed spending the day with the campers and giving the children an opportunity to experience some of the unique training and experiences they encounter on a regular basis.