by Airman 1st Class Tammie Ramsouer
JBER Public Affairs
5/6/2014 - JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska -- Military
members and their families participated in the fifth annual Princess
and Pirates Ball at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson's Consolidated
Library, May 2.
The library hosted the event, which included many different hands-on
activities for children and their parents. More than 300 military
members and their families participated in this year's ball.
"We have so many things for the children to do at the event," said
Kathryn Ruhl, Consolidated Library librarian. "Parents are welcome to do
everything the kids do as well, instead of just sitting in a corner."
Volunteers gave props to children at the front door such as wands and
scimitars, which were made from recycled cardboard, feathers and other
"We started this event with the idea of making it with as much recycled
materials as possible," Ruhl said. "Not only that, we had mainly girls
events, so we came up with something both [genders] could enjoy."
Volunteers guided parents and children to stations as soon as they came in the doors of the library for the event.
One of the 10 stations for the children to play with was the racecar
chutes, which children could race small toy cars down at an angle.
Children had the opportunity to learn how to share with others while
playing with cars, as there were only four cars to use.
"One day, when we were remodeling the library, I saw this man about to
throw away these long cardboard pieces and I asked him if I could take
it and he said 'sure,' so we made them into racecar chutes," Ruhl said.
Another station was the science station, where volunteers showed
children and their parents how to separate colors in milk. A volunteer
would pour a thin layer of milk into a bowl and one drop of four
different colors in the same bowl. Then they would hand the children a
cotton swab with dish soap on the end of it and the child would dip in
the color and watch the colors separate.
There were more than 30 volunteers at the Princess and Pirates Ball
helping with the coordinating and supervision of the children and
"This is my first time volunteering at the Princess and Pirates Ball,"
said Parker Rose, 14, a volunteer at the Princess and Pirates Ball.
"It's been fun doing this part of it because I get to see the reaction
on the kids' faces when the color separates."
Frida Johnson, wife of Army Staff Sgt. Michael Johnson, 425th Brigade
Special Troops Battalion, said she enjoyed interacting with her child
during the ball.
"We love this event," she said. "It is really fun just to get out of the house and get the kids doing something hands-on."
For information about future events, call the Consolidated Library at
384-1648 or visit the library website at