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By Jason Jowers, MS, MFT

Summertime is right around the corner and kids will be finishing up the school year before we know it. With the summer months coming up, many kids will be gearing up for summer camp opportunities as well. And for military kids, there are a number of popular summer camps for kids around the country.

So, what exactly are military-based kids camps? They are camps available for children of military service members. They also provide fun and outdoor activities, as well as ways for kids to learn new things and meet new friends from other military families. These camps are great for getting kids and teens from military families together who have shared experiences of being a part of military culture. Here are just a few examples of the most popular summer camps out there for military kids and teens.

  • The YMCA offers the Armed Services YMCA summer camps specifically with military children and teens in mind. These camps are available nationwide and are structured to address the unique challenges of military life. They offer day camp options as well as residential options. The YMCA summer camps are usually free or offered at a very low cost.
  • Camp Corral is a free one-week summer camp for military kids aged 8-15. These camps are open to all military children but specifically are for children of wounded, disabled, or fallen military service members. Go to their programs page to see specific dates and locations for these camps and how to sign up.
  • Military teen adventure camps, in collaboration with state 4-H programs and funded by the Dept. of Defense and USDA, are also available coast to coast. Activities include hiking, camping, and rafting, with activities that are tailored specifically to their geographic locations. You can search for camps based on location and dates.
  • The National Military Family Association hosts Operation Purple Camp, a free week of camp where children from all branches and statuses are welcome. These camps take place at various locations and varied weeks during the summer months. You can join the waitlists for various camps around the country.

These summer camp opportunities are some of the most well-known camps for military kids and teens out there, with many more local and state-funded camps available nationwide and around the globe. Be sure and keep these ideas in mind when promoting healthy and socially connected activities for your military family clients. For more on healthy activities for military youth, be sure and watch the archived recording of our “Supporting Military Teens: Community Healthy Living and Food Security Programs” OneOp webinar! Free CEs are still available!

Pexels [Silhouette of People Jumping by vjapratama, March 13th 2018, CC0]