Fort Riley, Kansas

 

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Chapel programming gift from above

By Maria Childs | 1ST INF. DIV. POST | September 15, 2017

     Needing childcare at the Protestant Women of the Chapel gathering every week is not a new development, but the care programming leaders within the group are using has recently changed.

      Terry Campbell, president of PWOC and wife of Chap. (Capt.) Chris Campbell, said the Protestant Children of the Chapel, or PCOC, is a new program they discovered through a resource guide for PWOC.

      “The idea is to go from just babysitting the kids to teaching them about God,” she said.

      Erin Kyro, watchcare liaison for PWOC and wife of Staff Sgt. Jesse Kyro, 1st Squadron, 6th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Combat Aviation Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, said the program is unique because it allows mothers to learn about God at the same time their children do, which is something mothers in the group have embraced since the program was implemented.

     “The children are learning about God at the same time their moms are,” she said. “I feel like that was a main concern we had prior to implementing this program — that they were just being babysat and letting them run wild and now they are engaged, doing art, learning.”

       The program models its mission after Psalm 127 in the Bible.

      “It’s about how children are the ones we are raising up to fight God’s fight so he has his arrows so he can fight God’s fight,” Kyro said about the peacock mascot that has been placed outside every child’s classroom.

      Campbell said there are more than 120 women who participate in PWOC each week and, on average, there is between 80 and 100 children who attend. When the program was implemented, placing the mascot near the door was important to her and Kyro because it showed mothers something new was happening.

     “I thought ‘what a great way to show people we are doing something different’ than to visually have something different than just a clipboard outside the door,” Campbell said. “Now they see there is something else going on.”

     Campbell said this program may not be unique to Fort Riley, but the relationship the mothers, leaders and workers who watch the children is one of a kind.

     “It has been wonderful to be able to have that close working relationship with the workers because then they see they are valued and then they work better with our kids,” she said. “When they see we care about what they are doing, then it elevates what they do.”

     The mission of PWOC is to lead, teach, develop and involve women throughout the military. Campbell said her goal at the local level is to share God with as many women at Fort Riley as possible.

     “While I’m trying to share the word with them, we are sharing the word with their children and they are not worrying about their children … they can stay focused on what they are learning,” she said. “PCOC enables me to say ‘mom, we’ve got your babies’ and we’re going to have a good time so you can sit for two and half hours and make relationships without worrying about your children. For these young girls, that is heaven to them.”

     For more information about PWOC, visit www.facebook.com/FortRileyPWOC.