All posts by Sarah Boomgarden

Sarah Boomgarden is the foundation assistant at Wyoming Medical Center Foundation. Before taking her current position in the fall of 2012, she worked for three years in the WMC Employee Services Department. Sarah has a bachelor's degree in communication with a minor in marketing from the University of Wyoming. She loves to bake, spend time with her husband and volunteer with Campus Ventures at Casper College.

Winter Activities

10 unique things to do over holiday break

1. Get active. Consider playing at the Aquatic Center, Recreation Center, ice arena, going bowling, or sledding during break.
2. Shovel your family’s driveway and sidewalk. Consider helping your neighbors by shoveling theirs as well.
3. For high school juniors and seniors, use the break to fill out college scholarship applications.
4. Have a board game tournament with friends.
5. Make a snow mural with squirt bottles, water, food coloring and a yard full of snow.
6. Read a book that’s not required for school.
7. Plan, shop and cook a meal for your family.
8. Make and send holiday cards to your family and friends.
9. Go on a winter picnic. Pack warm clothes, a blanket, soup and hot chocolate to enjoy in the park.

Casper Aquatic Center

Casper Aquatic Center is open for the following activities during the holiday break

Monday-Thursday:
Open Swim: 1 to 7 p.m.
*½ Price Family Swim: 7 to 8 p.m.
($2.75 per person 5 and older)

Friday
Open Swim: 1 to 8 p.m.

Saturday
*Family Swim: 11:15 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Open Swim: 1 to 6 p.m.

Sunday
*Family Swim: 2 to 4 p.m.
Open Swim: 4 to 6 p.m.

Closed: Dec. 25 and Jan. 1

*Family Swim times require all youth ages 15 and under to be accompanied by a responsible adult.

School’s Out Special Swim
Jan. 2-3, participants pay a reduced admission fee of $3.50. Children 4 and under are always FREE when accompanied by an adult admission. Children 7 and younger must be accompanied by an adult in the water.

Please call 235-8383 for more information

Casper Recreation Center

During the holiday break, the Casper Recreation Center is open:
Monday-Thursday: 5 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Friday: 5 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Saturday: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Sunday: 1 to 7 p.m.
(Closing at 3 pm on Dec. 24 and 5 p.m. on Dec. 31. Closed on Dec. 25 and Jan. 1).

At the Rec Center, kids can play pool, table tennis, basketball and other games in the gym. Youth fitness bikes with video gamingstyle consoles and a couch/lounge area are available as well.

Also, kids over age 13 can use the fitness rooms, and ages 15 and over can use the weight room.

Cost for the Rec Center is $3.50 per day.

This article was originally published in the For Your Kids’ Health e-newsletter, a project by Wyoming Medical Center and Natrona County School District. Find more articles and health tips for children of all ages by clicking on For Your Kids’ Health from The Pulse’s homepage.

Winter activities

10 activities to do inside over holiday break

1. Call the Natrona County Library anytime at 265-6379 to listen a story read aloud in its Dial a Story program.
2. Draw and make cards to give with presents for the holidays, or make handmade thank you cards.
3. Play a board game.
4. Make place cards for your family’s holiday meal.
5. Build a fort together, and make it a place to read books or play games together.
6. Make a calendar for 2014.
7. Make puppets and create a puppet show with old, clean socks.
8. Make a winter craft. Visit this site for 12 easy-to-make crafts.
9. Complete a jigsaw puzzle.
10. Have an indoor snowball fight by creating balls of snow with crumpled up newspapers or magazines.

Or, get out of the house and get your kids’ blood pumping:

Casper Aquatic Center

Casper Aquatic Center is open for the following activities during the holiday break

Monday-Thursday:
Open Swim: 1 to 7 p.m.
*½ Price Family Swim: 7 to 8 p.m.
($2.75 per person 5 and older)

Friday
Open Swim: 1 to 8 p.m.

Saturday
*Family Swim: 11:15 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Open Swim: 1 to 6 p.m.

Sunday
*Family Swim: 2 to 4 p.m.
Open Swim: 4 to 6 p.m.

Closed: Dec. 25 and Jan. 1

*Family Swim times require all youth ages 15 and under to be accompanied by a responsible adult.

School’s Out Special Swim
Jan. 2-3, participants pay a reduced admission fee of $3.50. Children 4 and under are always FREE when accompanied by an adult admission. Children 7 and younger must be accompanied by an adult in the water.

Please call 235-8383 for more information

Casper Recreation Center

During the holiday break, the Casper Recreation Center is open:
Monday-Thursday: 5 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Friday: 5 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Saturday: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Sunday: 1 to 7 p.m.
(Closing at 3 pm on Dec. 24 and 5 p.m. on Dec. 31. Closed on Dec. 25 and Jan. 1).

At the Rec Center, kids can play pool, table tennis, basketball and other games in the gym. Youth fitness bikes with video gamingstyle consoles and a couch/lounge area are available as well.

Cost for the Rec Center is $3.50 per day. Memberships for youth are available: Ages 5-12 are $30 for 6 months or $45 for a full year.

Holiday Camp at the Recreation Center

Holiday Camp, ages 5-11: Dec. 23 to Jan. 3, 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. daily (closing at 3 pm on Dec. 24 and 5 p.m. on Dec. 31. Closed on Dec. 25 and Jan. 1)

Includes full-day lineup of activities such as games, sports, arts and crafts, ice skating, swimming and more. $127 for the full camp program, or $18 per day. Rec Center members will receive a discounted price.

This article was originally published in the For Your Kids’ Health e-newsletter, a project by Wyoming Medical Center and Natrona County School District. Find more articles and health tips for children of all ages by clicking on For Your Kids’ Health from The Pulse’s homepage.

Healthy Eats & Something Neat: Cheesy Cucumber Sandwiches & Up-cycled 2 Liter Jack-O-Lanterns

Cheesy Cucumber Sandwiches

What 2056_imageYou Need:

  • ¾ cup light cream cheese, slightly softened
  • half of a large cucumber, thinly sliced
  • 8 slices of whole-wheat bread

Equipment and supplies:

  • Large knife
  • Cutting board
  • Plastic wrap (optional)

Directions:

1. Spread each slice of bread with cream cheese (about 3 tablespoons per sandwich).

2. Place about 4 cucumber slices on 4 of the slices of bread and top with remaining bread slices.

3. Cut into quarters and serve immediately or wrap sandwiches and save for later.

Makes 4 sandwiches.

© The Nemours Foundation/KidsHealth. Reprinted with permission.

Up-cycled 2 Liter Jack-O-Lanterns

It’s that timPicture2e of year again where the leaves are changing colors and the weather is cooling down. Kids are getting their costumes out for Halloween or asking for a new one. If you like decorating your home for Halloween, here’s an an activity to do with your child:

What You Need:

  • 2-liter bottle
  • Orange paint
  • Yellow or black felt (preferably with sticky backing for easy application)
  • Green paint (for stem)

Directions:

1. Add orange paint inside a 2-liter bottle

2. Secure the lid on tightly

3. Give it to the child to shake up ( so much fun)

4. Have child cut felt faces out in yellow or black (use the felt with sticky backing)

5. Let your child apply the faces

6. Paint the lid to 2-liter bottle green for a stem

* Idea from Living At the Whiteheads Zoo

This article was originally published in the For Your Kids’ Health e-newsletter, project by Wyoming Medical Center and Natrona County School District. Find more articles and health tips for children of all grade levels by clicking on the For Your Kids’ Health button on The Pulse’s homepage.

Healthy Eats & Something Neat: Pita Pizza & Leaf Art Activities

Pita Pizzas

Ingredients:pita-pizza

  • 1 cup Super Quick Chunky Tomato Sauce
  • 1 cup grilled boneless, skinless chicken breast, diced (about 2 small breasts)
  • 1 cup broccoli, rinsed, chopped and cooked
  • 2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon fresh basil, rinsed, dried and chopped (or 1 teaspoon dried)
  • 4 (6 1/2 inch) whole-wheat pitas

Directions:

1. Preheat oven or toaster oven to 450 degrees.

2. For each pizza, spread 1/4 cup tomato sauce on a pita and top with 1/4 cup chicken, 1/4 cup broccoli, 1/2 tablespoon parmesan cheese and 1/4 tablespoon chopped basil.

3. Place pitas on a nonstick baking sheet and bake for about 5 to 8 minutes until golden brown and chicken is heated through. Serve immediately.

*Recipe shared with permission from National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

Leaf Art ActivityLeaf Art

As the leaves start to change and fall from the trees, take advantage of nature and re-create these animals.  Glue the leaves on paper to keep all season long.  Also, have your child create their own imaginary animals.  The possibilities are endless!

*Idea shared with permission from ko ko ko kids

This article was originally published in the For Your Kids’ Health e-newsletter, project by Wyoming Medical Center and Natrona County School District. Find more articles and health tips for children of all grade levels by clicking on the For Your Kids’ Health button on The Pulse’s homepage.

Healthy Eats & Something Neat: Zesty Tomato Soup & Help a Neighbor

Zesty Tomato Soup

tomato-soupIngredients

  •  1 (14 1/2-ounce) can no-salt-added diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup jarred roasted red peppers, drained (or substitute fresh roasted red peppers)
  • 1 cup fat-free evaporated milk
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil, rinsed and chopped (or 2 teaspoons dried)
  • 1 slice whole-wheat bread, toasted and diced (for croutons)

Directions

1. Combine tomatoes and red peppers in a blender or food processor. Puree until smooth.

2. Put tomato mixture in a medium saucepan, and bring to a boil over medium heat.

3. Add evaporated milk, garlic powder and pepper. Return to a boil and gently simmer for 5 minutes.

4. Add basil and serve

5.   Optional step: Toast and dice one slice whole-wheat bread for the croutons.

Recipe shared with permission from National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute 

 Help a Neighbor

image (2)Fall is a great time to get outside and help a neighbor or clean up the neighborhood before the first snow fall.  Encourage your child to enjoy the last of the nice weather by spending some time outside raking the leaves in your neighbor’s yard, or picking up trash in a nearby park.  Encourage your child to volunteer in the neighborhood with a sibling or a friend. It’s always more fun to volunteer with someone than to do it alone.

“I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do something that I can do.” -Helen Keller

This article was originally published in the For Your Kids’ Health e-newsletter, a project by Wyoming Medical Center and Natrona County School District. Find more articles and health tips for children in sixth through eighth grades by clicking on For Your Kids’ Health from The Pulse’s homepage.

Healthy Eats & Something Neat: Spaghetti with Turkey Meatballs & Take a Walk on the Braille Trail

Spaghetti with Turkey Meatballs

spaghetti-turkey-meatballs-ck-l

Ingredients

  •  1 (9-ounce) package refrigerated fettuccini
  • 3 (4-ounce) links sweet Italian turkey sausage
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups sliced onions
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 2 large garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 cups lower-sodium marinara sauce
  • 1/2 ounce pecorino cheese grated (about 2 tablespoons packed)
  • 8 basil leaves, torn

Directions

  1. Cook the pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat; drain.
  2. Remove casing from sausages. Shape sausages into 12 (1-inch) balls.
  3. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add meatballs to pan; cook 7 minutes, browning on all sides.
  4. Remove the meatballs from pan. Add onions, red pepper and garlic to pan; sauté for 2 minutes.
  5. Return meatballs and add marinara sauce to pan, and bring to a simmer over medium heat, scraping pan to loosen browned bits.
  6. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 5 minutes or until meatballs are done.
  7. Add pasta to sauce mixture; toss well. Sprinkle with cheese and basil.

Take a Walk on the Braille Trail

woodlands-trail-cypress-hillsThe trail was named for a Casper Mountain Lion, Lee McCune, who “gave his life for Lionism.” It was dedicated July 19, 1975, “to the visually  handicapped and the sighted of America to enjoy God’s unique world of  nature.”  Located 10 miles south of Casper, Wyoming on Casper Mountain in an area known as Skunk Hollow at the lower end of Strube Loop. The area was chosen because of the wide variety of plant life. We hope you enjoy your walk with nature. Please leave the trail and surrounding areas cleaner than you found it.  Click here for a map of Casper Mountain.

Information from www.casperwyoming.info

This article was originally published in the For Your Kids’ Health e-newsletter, a project by Wyoming Medical Center and Natrona County School District. Find more articles and health tips for children in ninth through 12th grades by clicking on For Your Kids’ Health from The Pulse’s homepage.