The Exchange Club gifts 650 kids a free tour of the Yorktown

By Valencia

MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCIV) - Summertime fun doesn't always come cheap, but with the help of the Exchange Club 650 kids got to enjoy the history of the USS Yorktown for free.

On Wednesday, kids from North Charleston camps got exclusive tours of the USS Yorktown.

"[They learn about the] history of the ship, when it served, what the airplanes did, how they operate," said Stuart Carlin, one of the tour guides.

Carlin had a group of about 15 inquisitive kids and camp counselors.

"These kids are really great. They are interested in what they are seeing here," Carlin said.

"I learned that the ship is an eco-system," said Leah Washington, a seventh grader.

The children were able to learn about and touch some of the animals that feed and nest on the ship.

The kids also learned the importance of honoring the military.

"To me, its one of the most important things that these kids can learn. People have died so they can grow up to be what they want," Carlin said.

During every tour, Carlin tells kids to thank service men and women whenever they see them.

"You walk up to them, you shake their hand and you say, 'Thank you for your service,'" Carlin told the kids during a tour.

By the end of the tour, kids gained a greater appreciation for military servants.

"Thank you to the military for helping us be a free country," said Kyla Wright, a sixth grader.

Tours will be held everyday until Friday July 12.