Help your kids make new friends upon arrival

Help your kids make new friends upon arrival

by: Elizabeth Jones | .
Stripes Europe | .
published: June 30, 2016

PCSing can be hard, especially for kids. If your children are worried they won’t make any friends, consider these ways to make the process easier for them. 

Sign your kids up to volunteer

Volunteering is a great way for kids to make new friends and give back to the community. There are multiple organizations that offer volunteer opportunities, such as the American Red Cross, Armed Services YMCA, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Family Readiness Groups and the USO to name a few.

Check out programs and clubs

Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) and Force Support Squadrons (FSS) are the perfect places to find activities for you and your children. MWR provides a local directory to libraries, outdoor recreation, pools, sports and fitness centers, social and dining venues, theaters and more. Access calendars on their websites to find out about community events.

The School Age Program offers before- and after-school care for children 5 to 12 years old. All-day care is available during school holidays. There are also fun camps during the summer, winter and spring breaks. 

Teen Centers have video games, pool, ping-pong, dances and lock-ins for teens to enjoy. There are different clubs such as the Keystone Club, Smart Girls, Passport to Manhood, cooking, photography and fine arts clubs. Teen centers host events for teens to meet new people and establish friendships. 

Youth Centers have events and classes, such as karate, dance and piano, for children and their families. Baseball, softball, flag football, basketball, cheerleading, soccer and more are available for registration. Throughout the summer, winter and spring breaks, youth centers plan trips and hold day camps. Lock-ins and kid nights out are also scheduled throughout the year.

Installation community centers have a variety of fun activities for children and families. The community centers have classes, clubs and events for you to choose from.

Instructional Youth Classes are for children and families. Offerings include gymnastics, dancing, martial arts, music, yoga, acting and more.

Outdoor Recreation is your one stop to find travel tours, trips for bike rides, skydiving, rock climbing, hiking, canoeing, fishing and other outdoor activities.

The Buddy Family program is designed for incoming families with a 4th or 5th graders attending Ramstein Intermediate School (RIS). You will be matched with a family that will contact you, answer any questions you may have and arrange a time to meet over the summer. The goal of this program is to help your child know at least one person on their first day of school at RIS. Check for similar programs at other schools.

Look into chapels and religious programs

Installation chapels in the Kaiserslautern Military Community include the Ramstein Northside Chapel, Ramstein Southside Chapel, Vogelweh Chapel, Kapaun Chapel/Annex and the Sembach Chapel. Local off-base chapels include Calvary Chapel Kaiserslautern, Faith Baptist Church, St. Martin’s Church and Protestant Stadtkirche. Most chapels offer different programs for children based on their age and interests. Explore options on and off base.

Making friends can be hard for anyone who moves to a new area. These resources should be helpful for your children to meet people in no time!

Tags: Kids, helping kids, School, friends, friendships, moving, Move, summer, high school, Middle School, Ramstein Intermediate School, homeschool, kids activities, clubs, Outdoor Recreation, outdoors, volunteer, get involved, volunteer opportunities, Sports, active
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