Wednesday, May 07, 2014

JBER's Consolidated Library hosts the annual Princess and Pirates Ball

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 materials.

"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 stations.

"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

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