Should You Bring The Kitchen Sink?



Chasing your child who is running toward the wall with non-washable crayons may seem exhausting, but I’m not sure it actually counts as exercise.  Now, the 27 trips up and down the stairs with baskets of clean/dirty clothes, dozens of shoes, blankets and pacifiers MAY count, but it’s sure not much fun.  But a smart group of women on Foster may have come up with an answer — a Co-op!  Here’s the info:

Our Gunner’s Gym Fitness Co-op (GGFC) room is located in front of the Foster Field House on Camp Foster adjacent to the ladies restroom.  The room was built specifically for our co-op children. It opened the end of January 2007. 

We are an all volunteer program that promotes physical health as well as mental health for our members.  We are a non profit group that is supported (not financially!) by the Marine Corps. Our members trade volunteer time watching children in our COOP facility for the use of Gunners gym during their time slot. These time slots coincide with the group fitness schedule.  However, our members are also permitted to use their “gym” time to get a massage, sit in the sauna, or just sit in the lobby and read.  Often times the members have a spouse deployed and this is their only down time.

We are currently drawing our new members from a waiting list, but PCS season has left that list fairly thin.  We will have several openings in the fall due to some members PSCing and we are also scheduled to have a new facility built for us as well.  We will be able to accommodate twice as many members when the project is completed.

We have assigned time slots in our coop.  We have limited space and can only accommodate 12 people (one volunteer and up to 11 children) in the room at a time.  We allow children 6 weeks to 11 years old.  The time slots are as follows: 

7:30-9, 9-10:30, 11:15-12:45, 12:45-2:15

If you sign up for a time slot, you then have unlimited use Monday thru Friday during your time slot. In exchange, you are required to volunteer about four times during the month.  The volunteer days vary depending on the number of parents in your time slot.

If you are interested, please contact the co-ordinator, Maggie, at  She will send you an email with various attached paperwork that needs to be filled out before beginning with the co-op.


  1. We are still operating, in a much smaller location, due to typhoon damage to our permanent space in the Gunner’s Gym Field House. We have one time slot, 9-10:30, and currently have a waiting list. Many of our members will be PCS’ing in the next several months so we will be filling any open spots from the waiting list. Our former coordinator has moved, so please contact me at to be placed on the waiting list.

    Thank you!
    Melissa Fargnoli
    Gunner’s Gym Co-Op Coordinator

  2. We have had more time slots opened in the past, but failed to have enough interest in the later slots to keep them opened. To be beneficial and fair to members, membership needs to be at least 6 volunteers per time slot. The turnover for a program like this is rather high, we need ongoing interest, so that we can easily replace departing members. We are willing to open more time slots if we can gather enough volunteers!

  3. Is there any possibilites for additional times opening? This is a great program, I just wish it had time slots for after 2:15pm. Is there a reason why there are no time slots after this time. There are plenty of working moms with husbands deployed that would love to workout. 😉 What would it take to get additional time slots, even if it’s not Monday-Friday? A M, W, F or T, Th would be great too. Thanks.

  4. I was given the 646-8222 phone number and it is not working. Do you have any new contact information for this coop on foster? I would love to participate and see if they have a spot. Thank you!

  5. We have a toddler spot open as of June 1st for the 9:00-10:30am time slot. We also have 1 toddler slot open as of June 1st for the 12:45-2:15 time slot. The spots go quickly!!!! The new step and sculpt class at 9am is wonderful!

    Maggie Smith

  6. Just a few updates about the Co-Op. We now have 4 time slots operating (7:30-9, 9-10:30, 11:15-12:45, 12:45-2:15), and as we gain more interest we can open more time slots (example: 2:15-3:45). We do have waiting lists for all of the current time slots. All of the information above is correct, so please contact us if you are interested!
    PS, We did not move to a new facility, but hope that as the program grows, the need for a new space will be recognized!

  7. Camp courtney also has a gym co-op as well. They currently have openings for anyone that’s walking but there is a wait list for infants. Their co-op times are from 9-11 am M-F and you’ll always have another person with you. In order to use the co-op you must volunteer to be there 3 times a month and you get to choose the days. I don’t know much more aside from that though because I haven’t actually done it yet, but am looking to sign up.

  8. Wow! What a wonderful program. I’m not out there yet, but I would definitely volunteer for something like this when I do get there. Having two kids and a husband who is rarely home makes keeping in shape a challenge. They don’t even have something like this on Camp Pendleton (our current duty station). What could be better than keeping in shape and helping other parents do the same? Hope you find more parents to participate and I’ll definitely do so when we get settled there.