Being a military kid can be hard, but it also definitely comes with some benefits. Many of these benefits are provided by non-profit groups and their generous supporters. Low-cost and free summer camps are a great perk for military children, and also help their parents to have a little break or defray the cost of summer child care.
There are many groups that are trying to make things easier for military families. As a result, there are lots of opportunities for military kids to go to summer camps for free or low costs. There used to be a great online list of all the opportunities, but I can't find it. I will try to put together a new list here. Please notice that many programs have not yet published their 2014 schedules yet. In addition, funding is tight and some programs may not run this year, or they may have more limited offerings.
I am particularly fond of Operation Purple Camps because my kids were able to attend during their Dad's last deployment. They had a fabulous week of fun adventure, hung out with other kids who understood their lives, and I had five, glorious, child-free days after seven months of solo parenting. I can not explain how much this mean to all of us.
In addition, the Air Force Youth Programs offer Space Camp scholarships to children, aged 12-18, of Air Force service members, or those attached to an Air Force command.at various locations around the country, and registration is open now. Transportation costs are not covered, but the program has been able to provide some compensation towards camping costs during past years.
I will update this page as I hear more information, but be sure to do your own checking. Sometimes I miss things!
These camp opportunities offer amazing experiences to our kids. Thank you to everyone who makes them happen!