Category Archives: Scuttlebutt

FIT Boot Camp Brings Sports Stars to Base Youth Center

Lt.j.g Phillip Chitty

Lt.j.g Phillip Chitty

Lt. j.g. Phillip A. Chitty
SUBASE Public Affairs Office

Dana Barros, former Boston Celtics guard and Boston College standout, and Teresa Edwards, five-time Olympian and former WNBA coach and player, teamed up with leadership, staff and youngsters at the Naval Submarine Base Youth Center September 21 to highlight the importance of health and wellness through basic basketball and fitness skills.

The two basketball stars from joined the base Commanding Officer Capt. Carl Lahti and Youth Center coaches and staff in hosting the youth-oriented “NBA FIT Boot Camp,” which kicked-off the base’s Healthy Base Initiative.
“It’s a wonderful opportunity to be here today and kick off this event,” said Capt. Lahti. We’ve been selected as one of 13 bases around the country to kick off an initiative to get people healthier on base.”
More than 100 young military family members aged 6 to 18 did just that as they enjoyed fitness activities aimed at helping them develop core strength, speed, and coordination. Barros, Edwards and NBA Fit Boot Camp Clinician Sean Hanahan encouraged and interacted with the kids as they completed stretching, warm-ups and practiced basketball skills such as dribbling, passing, and shooting.
“The important thing is that you find something you love to do and give it all you have,” said Teresa after the workout. “Give it honesty, give it hard work, and give it discipline. If you want to be the best, you’ve got to work hard.”
Following the FIT Boot Camp, children and parents also had an opportunity to learn about healthy eating and nutrition as well as vegetable home-gardening from several interactive activities within the Youth Center.
For Cathy Terrall, SUBASE Youth Center director, it was rewarding to hear firsthand how the families and youth that attended were grateful to meet with, learn from, and be encouraged by the latest NBA and WNBA stars to be a making a difference for the base.
“It’s been phenomenal. I can’t tell you how many parents have personally thanked us for doing this for the kids,” said Terrall. “These children sacrifice for their country just like their families do, and hearing inspirational messages from these athletes, their heroes and role models, makes them feel valued and appreciated.”
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SUBASE Sailors Help Garden

Lt.j.g Phillip Chitty

Lt.j.g Phillip Chitty

Lt.j.g. Phillip A. Chitty
SUBASE Public Affairs Office

Sailors from the Naval Submarine Base New London Chaplain’s Office joined local volunteers and gardeners in harvesting, mulching and composting at the Common Good Gardens, August 20.
Informally known as “the soup kitchen garden,” because of its contributions to the needy, the garden is located behind Grace Episcopal Church off Main Street, in Old Saybrook.
“This garden is a win-win for everybody involved,” said Clair Matthews, president, Common Good Gardens. “The Church fulfills its mission to provide for the needy; the gardeners like working here because they all learn from each other; and, the volunteers and donors get to do something for the community.”
The garden was started in 2002 by gardeners who wanted to use their knowledge to benefit others, according to Matthews.
“The garden is a collaboration of people with different talents and interests, and the thing that unifies us is our desire to help our neighbors in need,” Matthews said.
In addition to the produce grown directly in the garden, Common Good Gardens picks up produce from local farm stands, adding it to the garden’s harvest, The garden is thus able to provide nutritious, locally grown produce to five local food pantries in Old Saybrook, Westbrook, Clinton, Old Lyme, and East Lyme, which feed some 500 families per week.
To Matthews, the volunteers who work in the garden, like those from the Sub Base, are the backbone of its success.

Sailors dig in at the Common Good Gardens in Old Saybrook to help increase productivity for those in need.

Sailors dig in at the Common Good Gardens in Old Saybrook to help increase productivity for those in need.

The base’s Chaplains Office is continuing ongoing Navy community service efforts at the garden initiated by the Naval Submarine School’s (SUBSCOL) Chaplain’s Office.
“We’ve been working in the garden for six weeks,” said Lt. Robert Price, Base Chaplain, “and SUBSCOL regularly sends out volunteers to the site as well.”
SUBSCOL Sailors installed a high gate to keep hungry deer from eating the produce.
Deer and other animals are drawn to the garden because its produce is highly nutritious, thanks to the work and research of a local volunteer.
Mark Lenhart, a former submariner who served aboard USS Spikefish (SS 404) and USS Bang (SS 385), acts as the garden’s compost scientist.The Common Good Gardens make their own compost instead of using fertilizers.
“Decomposition of organic matter is always a learning process,” said Lenhart. “The compost we use is very nutritious. We use coffee grounds donated from local coffee shops.”
Every Tuesday, Sailors from the Chaplain’s Office help to distribute the compost and mulch.
“The Navy brings a lot of youth and good spirit to the garden,” added Lenhart. “We could not ask for a better workforce.”
Volunteers are encouraged to help with harvesting, mulching and composting on Tuesday and Saturday mornings, and Thursday afternoons.
For more information about volunteering at the Common Good Gardens, call the SUBASE Chaplain’s Office at (860)-694-3232.
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