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Joint Total Force Scott members create 'kingdom' in Swansea

Volunteers from Joint Total Force Scott and members of the local community help build Swansea Kingdom, a community playground designed by kids and built by volunteers.

Volunteers from Joint Total Force Scott and members of the local community help build Swansea Kingdom, a community playground designed by kids and built by volunteers.

Scott Air Force Base, Ill. -- The Village of Swansea and Joint Total Force Scott worked hand in hand to improve the community when volunteers joined together to build the Swansea Kingdom Playground. 

Plans for the park, built completely by volunteers, started in May when John Dean, designer from Leather and Associates of Ithaca, New York, spent a day talking to local area children to brainstorm ideas for the park. Each group of children he met with during the day agreed that a playground designed by children, would be better than one designed by grownups, and many of those ideas made it into the final design. 

The work done by Scott volunteers was indicative of the strong ties between Scott and the local community and an example of the numerous volunteer opportunities available to Joint Total Force Scott, according to Col. Al Hunt, 375th Airlift Wing commander. 

"The Swansea Kingdom Playground was a great way for Joint Total Force Scott personnel to volunteer," he said. "By helping the local community we are giving back to the people that support us." 

That sentiment was shared by project volunteer John Fry. The teamwork between the two communities was integral in getting the new playground built for the children.
 
"I think its great members of Scott Air Force Base came out and lent a hand," said the volunteer. "We needed all the help we could get. This project took months in planning, but we only had five days to build it." 

Volunteering their time to the local community was the most rewarding part of the project to many of the volunteers.

"I really enjoyed coming out and helping out the local community," said Airman 1st Class James Wheeler, 15th Operational Weather Squadron weather apprentice. "I think it's really important to help and this was a great opportunity." 

The Swansea Kingdom Playground is located in Schranz Park in the Village of Swansea and officially opened Oct. 14.