With temperatures in the triple digits, and power out and trees down across the base, there was only one place to be Saturday — poolside.
Teens came out in record numbers to Quantico’s first teen pool party of the summer, which was held at the Quantico 50M Pool.
“This was the biggest turnout that we’ve seen for a teen event on base in three years,” said Kellie Mendoza, assistant director at the Quantico Youth Center.
For the more than 50 participants this was an opportunity to meet new friends, splash around and soak up the sun. Music blared as teens competitively flipped off the 10 foot diving board, while others bathed in the humid, but dim sunlight.
Whether students were on summer vacation or in summer school, most agreed that this was a much-needed diversion.
“I haven’t been able to get out much because I’m taking a summer course, so it’s nice to take a break from studying and enjoy myself,” said Daniella Thompson.
Nashville residents, Sa’Anna, 16, and De’Anna, 15, are only aboard Quantico for two months while their father completes Officer Candidates School. The sisters said their mission was simple, “We just want to relax, dance and meet new people.”
Caitlyn Forrest, Quantico Youth Center assistant, said she hopes popular events like last weekend’s pool party will breakdown common stereotypes of teen events.
“The biggest misconception is that they’re going to show up and it’s going to be lame,” said Forrest.
She added that many teens are unaware of their activities such as video game tournaments and ice cream parties.
Colin, 16, gave this event a thumbs-up.
“This is my first base function and I think it’s pretty cool,” said Colin. “On the scale of 1 to 10, I’d give it an 8.”
Forrest hopes to keep the momentum going.
“I’m hoping that we have big turnouts like this for every event,” said Forrest. “We see kids hanging out in the neighborhoods every day and we’re hoping they come out.”
Transportation for teens shouldn’t be a problem. The program deploys vans every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday for events, said Forrest. For information about registration, call the Child Development Center at 703-784-4470.
— Writer: firstname.lastname@example.org