If you are military, you have kids, and you'd like to have the opportunity to send them to summer camp, now is the time to get into action. The National Military Family Association (NMFA) has opened applications for its 2013 Operation Purple Camp (OPC) season. Operation Purple Camps are held around the United States, with the help of great names in traditional summer camping, and bring together military children from all components, ranks and services to enjoy some fun and spend time with peers who face similar challenges.
Who Is Eligible?Application for Operation Purple Camp is open to any military child, including children of National Guardsman and Reservists. However, priority for selection is given to children with a parent in a deployment phase between September 2012 and December 2013. Once those children are accommodated, spots are opened up to all eligible children.
The Operation Purple Camp program includes children aged 7 through 17, but individual camps have their own criteria.
How Do I Apply?Application are found via the NMFA website. I found the application a little challenging, but it was late and I was tired. If you have multiple children, you have to do entirely new applications for each child. No payment is required, but a $25 "hold my spot" fee is required for each child who is selected for attendance.
How Much Does It Cost?The camp itself is totally free! Costs to parents will include transportation, camp gear, and spending money (if appropriate.)
My children had the opportunity to attend an Operation Purple Camp in 2009 and it was a fantastic experience. They got to spend a week doing fun activities and I got a week off from the 24/7 job of being a parent while my husband was deployed.
This free camp experience is made possible by generous contributions from individuals, foundations, and the camps themselves. If you would like to make a donation to support the Operation Purple program, you can find more information at the NMFA Donations page.