UPDATED MARCH 2017
When the kids are out of school for the summer, they’re ready for fun. They want to hang out with their peers and experience cool adventures. That's what summer camp was made for.
It may not feel like summer right now, but now’s the time to start thinking about registering your kids for summer camp. Thankfully, there are camps that are free or available at a reduced price just for military kids. (Please check back for updates throughout the Spring!)
The Air Force Reserve/Air National Guard Teen Leadership Summit is a week-long camp for 14 to18-year-old dependent teens of current or retiree Air Force Reserve or Air National Guard military members. It's a place for teens to focus on leadership development, as well as learn about programs available to Air Force dependents.
The application deadline is May 15, 2017. Airfare, transportation and all meals while at the Summit, camp registration fees, and lodging are paid by the Air Force through a partnership with the University of Georgia/Georgia 4-H.
American Wanderer Summer Camp offers 2-week sessions exploring America’s National Parks in Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, South Dakota, Utah and Wyoming for kids ages 11 to 17. Children of active duty, Reserve, National Guard, retired and former service members are all eligible to apply for their scholarship.
The Armed Services YMCA or ASYMCA offers junior enlisted families the chance to participate in family, youth, and teen camps year-round at their 34 branches and affiliates. These camps and other free programs, in partnership with groups like Newman’s Own Foundation, aim to provide support to military families. Camps and other programs vary by location, so check with your local ASYMCA for more details.
Camp Corral is a free one-week camp for military kids aged 8 to 15. Although it is open to all military children, priority is given to children of wounded, disabled or fallen service members. There are 23 camps in 19 states. The week is filled with fun outdoor activities like canoeing, swimming, fishing, arts and crafts, ropes course challenge, archery, and horseback riding. The week also encourages campers to create friendships and bond with other kids who share similar family situations.
Teen Adventure Camps are for military teens aged 14 to 18, and they take place throughout the country at little to no cost. They include fun outdoor activities whitewater rafting, hiking, rock climbing, winter camping, backpacking, mountain biking.
Unfortunately, the Teen Summer Camp Scholarship Program or SCSP has been canceled for summer 2017. However, the Navy STEAM Camp Program is available. This camp helps to improve a sense of a "Navy teen community" and to provide Navy teens with opportunities and exposure to various educational and recreational activities. Click here for the camp brochure, and stay up to date by following their Facebook page.
Thanks to the National Military Family Association, Operation Purple Camp supports military children by offering a free week of camp. These camps help military kids learn coping skills and connect them with other kids going through the same things. The camps are open to all military children of all ranks and services.
Your Local Military Installation
Don’t forget about the youth programs offered at your local military installations. Many bases have summer camps for kids, as well as camps throughout the year during times like Spring Break when kids are out of school. Click here to contact your nearest installation for more information.
What are your favorite summer camps for military kids?
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