ACT: Practice Car Heat Safety

ACT: Practice Car Heat Safety

Healthy Living

We all have forgetful moments at times. We may forget our cell phone or misplace our keys, but what happens if you forget your sleeping baby is left in the back seat of the car? Or what if you decide to leave your baby in the car while you run inside for “just a minute?”

Hot vehicles are the primary non-crash, vehicle-related killer of children under the age of 14, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). In 2016, 39 U.S. children died from hyperthermia or heat stroke while in automobiles. When the outside temperature is 85 degrees Fahrenheit, the temperature inside a car can reach 114 degrees in just 20 minutes. This can quickly raise body temperature to dangerous levels. Cracking a window open and parking in the shade are not sufficient safeguards. A child’s body heats up three to four times faster than an adult’s body. Children’s of Alabama has joined the national initiative, ACT, which educates the public about the dangers of leaving a child in a hot car. ACT stands for: 

Avoid heat stroke-related injury and death by never leaving your child alone in the car, not even for a minute. Always lock your doors and trunk so a child doesn’t climb into a hot car without you knowing.

Create reminders for yourself by placing something you’ll need at your destination, like a cell phone, next to the child safety seat. This can be a helpful reminder on a chaotic day.

Take action. If you see a child left alone in a car, call 911 immediately. Emergency personnel are trained to respond to these situations .

For more information, visit safekids.org or childrensal.org/childpassengersafety.

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Stay the Course with John Croyle

Stay the Course with John Croyle

Bringing Out the Winner in Your Child

“Don’t get to high. Don’t get too low. Just stay the course.”

This is one of our mottos at Big Oak Ranch. We are not saying don’t get excited when something good happens, nor are we saying don’t be sad when something bad happens. We are simply saying that things seem to run so much better if we maintain a consistent balance on our emotions.

Every time I’ve gotten too excited over something or gotten overly frustrated about an issue, it always seems to have a negative ripple effect. In every voyage of every ship, there will be calm waters and there will be difficult storms. How we handle these extremes in our lives reveals our trust in the Lord as the Captain of our ship. He has given us control of the steering wheel, but He is the master navigator of our lives. You and I as Christians cannot honor the Lord when we lose control of our emotions over things that are completely out of our control, or even worse when things are in our control.  A healthy emotional balance is the key to consistency in our walk with the Lord.

Greatness, or the lack of it, is oftentimes revealed during life’s losses. May we be found to be stable in all our ways – win or lose.  Every great man I’ve ever known has had control of his emotions. Let’s work at being great!

John Croyle, Founder, Big Oak Ranch 

Author, Who You Are/Defying the Circumstances that Define Us, Bringing Out the Winner in Your Child, The Two Minute Drill to Manhood and Raising a Princess, www.bigoak.org.

 

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The Proven Cure for the Drug Epidemic: Alabama Teen Challenge

The Proven Cure for the Drug Epidemic: Alabama Teen Challenge

Special Feature

presented by Alabama Teen Challenge Adult Men’s and Women’s Centers

Alabama Teen Challenge offers both men and women a one-year Christ centered residential program to help them learn how to live drug free lives.

As a ministry that reaches out to the community and seeks to educate teenagers and adults about the dangers of drugs, Teen Challenge is the oldest, largest, and most successful program of its kind in the world. Established in 1958, the ministry has grown to more than 1100 centers in 118 countries. Along with education efforts, Teen Challenge centers in Alabama offer: a one-year residential program for adults, designed to help men and women learn how to live drug-free lives. Teen Challenge staff members encourage the residents to embrace the Christian faith, with the belief that when they do, their lives will be transformed and they will find true meaning and purpose. Residents follow strict rules and discipline. All residents adhere to a daily schedule that includes chapel, Bible classes and job skill training. Many men and women have experienced the transforming power of Jesus Christ by way of their Teen Challenge encounter. For those of us at Teen Challenge, Brother David Wilkerson’s enduring legacy will always be that he founded this ministry for the addicted, the hurting and the disenfranchised.

To learn more about admission to the program, providing financial support to the ministry or to schedule a Teen Challenge speaker for your school, church, youth group or civic group, call 205-763-0909. Visit www.alatc.org. Teen Challenge is a member of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability, Alabama Assoc. of Non-profits and Amazonsmile. †

Alabama Teen Challenge, Adult Men’s and Women’s Centers

205-763-0909

P.O. Box 270

Lincoln, AL 35096

www.alatc.org
“Thank God for Teen Challenge.” Rev. Billy Graham

“Not only does Teen Challenge help our young people deal with their substance abuse but it also gives our kids something to live for- a relationship with God, a healthy self-esteem, and a direction in their lives that finally leads somewhere.” President Ronald Reagan

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Serving Alabama Children through CASA

Serving Alabama Children through CASA

For children who have experienced abuse or neglect, the Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) can help make a difference by helping them work their way through the court and child welfare systems in search of a loving home. Each time a child is paired with a CASA Volunteer, their chances are greater to have the best possible outcome. CASA recruits and trains volunteers to advocate for the child’s best interest in the court process. They work with judges, lawyers, social workers, and families to ensure each child has an advocate in court, the child welfare, and foster care systems.

Many life goals and achievements that our culture considers normal rites of passage do not occur for children who are in foster care. Statistics show that 40% do not graduate from high school, 20% become homeless within one year and 25% will be incarcerated after leaving foster care. In contrast, children with CASA volunteers spend 7.5 months less time in foster care, experience fewer out-of-home placements, have significantly better educational performance, and are 90% less likely to reenter the system. By working to reduce the length of time a child spends in foster care, CASA saves the state thousands of dollars while drastically improving the quality of a child’s life, one child at a time. Every child that CASA helps to find a safe, permanent home is one more future adult who has a chance to thrive and succeed in our society.

In 2015, there were 10,279 dependency proceedings in Alabama. Currently, we only have the capacity to serve 10% of the children who need a CASA Volunteer. We must serve more but we cannot do it without the help of caring individuals willing to be trained to serve. You don’t have to be “qualified,” just a caring, compassionate and concerned person willing to be trained.

CASA is presently recruiting volunteers to work with abused and neglected children in all areas of Shelby County and parts of the Hoover area. Training classes begin Monday, October 9th.  For more information on how you can help, please visit www.casaofshelbycounty.org or call Beth at 243-8753. †

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Family Fun with American Village

Family Fun with American Village

Are We There Yet?

Family Fun with Pirates, Spies and Paul Revere’s Midnight Ride!

Summer admission at the American Village is only $5 (Tues.-Sat. thru July 29).

This past election year brought about tremendous political and social tension. In this time of heightened partisanship and feuding, our country cannot hide its disunity. Still, there are places that promote patriotism and unity that we can view as beacons of hope, including The American Village in Montevallo. The Village did not halt its operations or surrender during this tumultuous year. Rather, the organization’s historians, writers, and actors have created and produced a one of a kind summer program that interactively promotes citizenship and is designed for all ages. You may meet some of Blackbeard’s pirates or partake in Paul Revere’s historic midnight ride; change the course of history and spy for the Continental Army.

All the American Village’s activities center around getting people involved in history. Each visitor participates in re-enacting history, adopting a temporary participatory role in shaping America. This unique experience goes deeper than the text of a book or a long lecture. The program places each person in a specific moment. Each visitor will find themselves with historic characters in a replica building from America’s founding era. In a sense, passing through the gates into the American Village is entering a modern time machine.

Costumed historical interpreters at the American Village bring to life our country’s revolutionary history. They re-enact moments when farmers put down their plows and took up arms to defend liberty, when a new nation was born, and when freedom rang true for the first time. No matter the story or season, the American Village promotes patriotism.

The American experiment has survived and thrived for hundreds of years. As we celebrate Independence Day this month, the American Village’s summer program is sure to encourage you to take up your civic duty and be grateful for the freedoms we enjoy. Let freedom ring for America’s past, present, and future. Bring your kids to the American Village any Tuesday through Saturday from 10-4 until July 29th to experience Celebrate America! Or join the American Village July 4th from 11:30 to 9:00 p.m. for red, white and blue family-friendly Independence Day fun, food and fireworks! Let freedom ring, www.americanvillage.org.

-Abby Holcombe

 

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Alabama Splash Adventure: A Koch Family Masterpiece

Alabama Splash Adventure: A Koch Family Masterpiece

Are We There Yet?

Alabama Adventure offers great rides like the Drop Zone and Tea Cups. Alabama Splash Adventure Owner Pat Koch is seen here (third from left) experiencing Drop Z.

Alabama Splash Adventure owners Pat and Dan Koch have a unique amusement park to say the least. The goal of the mother son team is simple. Provide guests the best family atmosphere a park can offer from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

Many amusement parks can be very draining on a family’s bank account but the Koch’s park is different in that regard. “We offer seven stations of free drinks called the Pepsi Oasis so our guests don’t have to wait in line,” Koch said. “We also want to keep our guests healthy and hydrated with water and Gatorade.” When the Alabama summer heat gets to guests, the park also offers the Star Theater for groups to meet and greet other guests.  The Koch’s also offer free sunscreen stations throughout the park for guests to take care of their skin. “We are a family,” Koch said. “We want to offer a great family atmosphere, which is what we strive for.” In order to do that, mother and son hardly ever leave the park. They are constantly adapting and upgrading the park in any way possible to enhance visitors’ experience.

The Koch’s take pride in keeping the park litter free and the attention to detail is evident. The rides have been updated and new ones added like the Drop Zone which takes riders 30 feet in the air and Teacup which is a fun, easy ride for the whole family to experience.

Despite the ups and downs of owning an amusement park, Pat Koch always keeps her faith in perspective and feels blessed. “My faith plays a role in everything that I do,” Koch said. “Two women say to me we pray for you every time we pass the park because we want you to be successful.”

If you are looking for a fun venue to take your family at a reasonable price, Alabama Splash Adventures has everything and more, www.alabamasplash.com.

Plus, this month Birmingham Christian Family is giving away a Family 4-Pack (four general admission tickets) to the park. To enter, simply Like and Follow our Facebook Page, Facebook.com/BirminghamChristianFamily and Share the Alabama Splash Adventure Family 4-Pack post. Offer Ends July 18, 2017.

-Brian Hill

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Adoption Boot Camp at Children’s of Alabama

Adoption Boot Camp at Children’s of Alabama

Healthy Living

The UAB International Adoption Center Team at Children’s of Alabama will host its annual Adoption Boot Camp June 3 in the Bradley Lecture Center at Children’s.

The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) International Adoption Center at Children’s of Alabama is hosting its adoption boot camp seminar on Saturday, June 3 from 8:30am-4:30pm. The event is designed for anyone considering international or domestic adoption, already in the adoption process or works with children who have been adopted. Attendees will receive a comprehensive prospective on the unique challenges and rewards of building a family through adoption. Specific topics include medical challenges, emotional and behavioral challenges, and development (ages and stages) of the adopted child. There will also be an adoption simulation experience and a parent panel for questions. “I can’t imagine what it would have been like had we not attended this seminar,” said a newly adoptive parent at the clinic. “It was tremendously impactful and we felt prepared for the journey ahead. I would tell every parent considering adoption to make sure you get to boot camp!” The adoption boot camp is one of the longest running educational seminars in the adoption community and is approved for continuing education units for registered nurses and social workers. Registration cost for professionals is $50. The family rate is $150 for a family of four, and $10 for each additional family member or friend. Space is limited. For more details or to register, contact the International Adoption Clinic at 205-638-6964 or email adopt@uab.peds.edu.

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The Formula to Showing Your Child Love with John Croyle

The Formula to Showing Your Child Love with John Croyle

Bringing Out the Winner

Several years ago, an internationally known and very successful actor came to visit the Ranch to see what we do and how we prepare our children for life. After we had toured the Ranch, we sat and talked for a while. Finally, he asked the question that he had been waiting to ask the whole day…

“What can I do for my son to convince him that I love him?”

I simply replied, “Don’t do things FOR him. Do things WITH him.”

I further explained that it really doesn’t matter how much money you spend on your child. If you are spending your time doing other things, he still isn’t going to feel loved.  The best way to show your children that you love them is just by spending some quality time with them.  Memories are made, and in turn relationships are built.

When is the last time you spent quality time with your child? Just remember – you make time for what is most important to you.

John Croyle, Founder, Big Oak Ranch Author, Who You Are/Defying the Circumstances that Define Us, Bringing Out the Winner in Your Child, The Two Minute Drill to Manhood and Raising a Princess, www.bigoak.org

 

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Super Summer Camp Opportunities 2017

Super Summer Camp Opportunities 2017

Ballet
The Alabama Ballet
is hosting summer camps for children ages 4-12. Tutus & Tiaras is for ages 4-7 and offered July 17-21 and July 24-28 from 10am-2pm. The Cost is $250 per week. Junior Camp is for dancers ages 8-12 and is offered June 26-July 7, 10am-3pm. The cost is $475 for 2 weeks or $285 for one week. The camps will be held at the Alabama Ballet, 2726 1st Avenue South, 35233. For more information call 205-322-1874 or visit www.alabamaballet.org.

 

 

Basketball

Coach Paul Brown Camps. Learn from an outstanding teacher of fundamentals, June 19-23 Riverchase UMC, June 26-30 and July 31-August 4 Green Valley Baptist/Hoover and July 24-28 Trinity UMC/Homewood. Boys and girls ages 6-13. Full day 9am-4pm ($195), half day 9am-Noon ($125). Register at coachpaulbrown.com

Wrestling

Warrior Wrestling Club, Alabaster. Four weekly sessions for boys and girls, June 5-8 (6-12th grade), June 12-15(K-12th), June19-22 (6-12th), June 26-29(6-12th), 9am-8pm, $175 per week (includes breakfast, lunch and dinner), 2469 Highway 31, 35040, behind Southeastern Pond Management. Under the direction of Coach Shawn Weltzin, Coach of the Thompson High School 5X Alabama State Wrestling Champions along with Warrior Wrestling Club Head Coach Shad Rissler and All State Champ Counselors. Includes technique, drills and live wrestling. To register email shadrissler@gmail.com, visit www.warriowrestlingclub.com or call 845-978-4924.

Nature

Aldridge Gardens, Hoover. Weekly camps offered June 5 through June 30, Monday through Friday 9am-Noon for children entering 5K-3rd Grade. Themes include Construction in Nature, Engineering FUNdementals, Cool Art, Paper Circuitry and ever popular American Girl Doll camps. All the fun takes place at Aldridge Gardens, 3530 Lorna Road, 35216. $115 per camper for Aldridge Garden members, $135 for non-members. Visit aldridgegardens.com for more information and to register. E-mail Debbie McDonald, Education Director at dmcdonald@aldridgegardens.com or call 205-682-8019, ext. 104.

Overnight Camps

Deer Run Retreat, near Franklin, Tenn. June 4 to July 28 age-graded overnight weekly camp experiences for completed grades 3–12. Campers discover their strengths, explore exciting adventures, forge friendships and complete challenges. Registration includes all activities, a themed camp shirt and a video of your camper’s week. Passionate and engaged staff and counselors lead your child to authentically grow in faith, character, confidence, respect and leadership. The staff-to-camper ratio is higher than required standards allowing for closer supervision, deeper relationships with the counselors and other campers, plus a more powerful camper experience. One- and two-week sessions. Cabin activities include zip line adventures, 45-ft climbing tower, paintball, archery range, rec games, human foosball, 33-ft leap of faith, giant swing, archery tag, lake activities (waterslide, aqua park, swimming, round Corcl boats, kayaks, canoes, zip line), age-appropriate small group Bible study. Large group activities include games, challenging cardboard boat regatta races, worship and a dynamic, challenging speaker each night. Campers also choose 1 track for the week to develop abilities in specialized areas such as fishing, wilderness skills, self-defense, drama, percussion, ukulele and more. An Open house will be held at Deer Run on Sunday, May 7, 2-4pm. Includes come and go guided walking tour and opportunity to meet the camp directors and some of the summer staff. For pricing and registration visit www.DeerRun.camp or call 888-794-2918. †

Cheer

Impact Fellowship of Christian Cheerleaders will host Cheer Camp July 17-21 at Shades Mountain Baptist, 2035 Columbiana Rd, 35216, 9am-3pm with after care provided til 5:30pm, Mon-Thurs. Ages 5-18. To register visit www.shades.org/cheercamp, call 370-3994, www.impactcheerleading.com.

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