Military families can register their children for Operation Purple Summer Camps beginning 24 March. Registration ends 5 May.
What is Operation Purple?
Many children are experiencing multiple deployments or have more than one parent or family member deployed. The stories from those who attended Operation Purple summer camps offer a glimpse of the heavy emotional and psychological burden that falls on the sons and daughters of service members. The goal of these free summer camps is to bring together youth who are experiencing some stage of a deployment and the stress that goes along with it. Operation Purple camps give kids the coping skills and support networks of peers to better handle life's ups and downs.
In 2007, more than 40 weeks of camps were held at 34 locations in 26 states. The camps' outreach programs provide the skills and positive outlets for their feelings, but it's the camaraderie campers are able to build with one another that's so important. Learning coping skills, making new friends, and experiencing life lessons at an early age are what make Operation Purple camps so unique.
Please direct questions regarding Operation Purple to Cynthia Clagg at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A recent article says:
One hundred weeks of free camps will be offered at 64 locations in 36 states and territories, nearly double the number of camps offered last year.
NMFA developed the camp program in 2004 to help children deal with the stress of war, teach them skills for dealing with their feelings and let them share some carefree fun with other military kids. Any child can apply, but priority goes to kids who have a parent, guardian or other household member deployed at some point between May 2007 and September 2008.
Each camp is "purple" - open to children of any member of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Coast Guard, the National Guard and reserves, and the commissioned corps of the Public Health Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Families should apply at the camp closest to their home because transportation costs are not provided. The age range of camps and activities vary from one location to another.
The nonprofit NMFA is also working on additional initiatives for children.
Camps will be offered this year in: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and the Virgin Islands.
The camps are free through NMFA's partnership with the Sierra Club and the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation.
2008 camp locations and dates can be found here.