• ACS 'passport' guides to post services, sites

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  • Katie Peterson | Staff Writer
    With school in session and fall approaching, for many families it’s time to put passports and luggage away and settle in for the year. However, that doesn’t mean the travel bug will be put away, too. Army Community Service has the solution.
    From now through Oct. 26, ACS is sponsoring the first Passport Tour ­­­of Fort Leavenworth, which allows participants to “travel” around the installation where they can take selfies and win prizes.
    “The goal of the passport is to get folks coming into ACS and interacting with us on Facebook to build awareness of our programs and events,” said Jessica Brushwood, Army Volunteer Corps coordinator. “Second is to get Fort Leavenworth newcomers integrated into our community and knowledgeable about all of the wonderful programs available through (Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation) as well as the rich history of our post.
    “We hope it helps (newcomers) build a quick connection to our beautiful fort and (ACS),” she said.
    The idea came from ACS volunteer Christin James, who has been volunteering since 2006.
    “I came up with the passport idea during an (Army Family Team Building) committee meeting. We were trying to think of ways to get more people in to ACS and taking AFTB classes,” James said. “We wanted to get individuals familiar with Fort Leavenworth in a really fun way. This post has so much to offer and people often don’t know what all is available to them here. The passport is a fun and engaging way of familiarizing oneself with Fort Leavenworth.”
    From there, Brushwood and James began developing the idea and with the help of the Fort Leavenworth Arts and Crafts Center, the idea became a reality, Brushwood said.
    The 15-stop tour consists of three levels with five stops per level.
    “The level names indicate that they have visited more places and have more knowledge with each level,” Brushwood said.
    Level one is the Casual Traveler.
    This level consists of stop by visits to interactive places such as Strike Zone Bowling Center, the Combined Arms Research Library, ACS, the U.S. Disciplinary Barracks Sales Store and the Frontier Conference Center.
    Level two is the Savvy Traveler.
    This level consists of activity-based stops including attending an ACS special event, watching a movie at Post Theater, touring the Frontier Army Museum, taking a walk around the Circle of Firsts and exploring classes at Gruber Fitness Center.
    Level three is the World Traveler.
    This level is all about riddles requiring a little more thought. Clues include locating the monument dedicated to the first African American regiment in the Army, the building operated by volunteers and where great deals are found, the building where a furry friend can be adopted, the three buildings with stained glass windows, and the building where someone can book a cruise and have a picture framed.
    Page 2 of 2 - To complete the contest, take a selfie at each location. Once all stops in a level are completed, upload the photos to Facebook and tag ACS Fort Leavenworth and check in to the Fort Leavenworth Passport Event page.
    When participants complete level one, they will receive a commemorative Fort Leavenworth Passport luggage tag. When participants complete level one and two, they will receive a commemorative Fort Leavenworth Passport travel coffee mug. When participants complete all three levels consecutively, they will receive a Fort Leavenworth Passport commemorative tile.
    Brushwood said she hopes all who are eligible to participate will.
    “We want (the event) to reach all of our eligible patrons,” Brushwood said. “ACS has programs for every member of the military family from birth through retirement.
    “As with this new passport idea, we welcome assistance and input from our volunteers,” she said. “We want our volunteers to have meaningful volunteer experiences, which help them gain new skills while enhancing their existing skills.”
    The event is open to all soldiers, family members, retirees and Department of Defense civilians assigned to Fort Leavenworth. Only one passport may be submitted per household. To register, call 684-2823. Passports can be picked up and returned to the ACS office in the Resiliency Center, 600 Thomas Ave.
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