Camps and opportunities for military kids
A Backpack Journalist summer workshops and camps
"Helping youth find their voice - through Narrative Writing, Reporting and Broadcast, Songwriting, Film making, Cowboy Poetry and Digital Storytelling. It is all about creative expression. For youth, we encourage youth between the ages of 12-18 to use the latest, greatest tech tools and their own talents! For military youth and service members, especially diagnosed with PTSD or TBI, our writing and journaling and digital storytelling are focused on helping each service member work through the issues each face.
Air Force Services' Teen Aviation Camp - Colorado Springs, CO
Teens have a great opportunity get glimpse of life at the United States Air Force Academy during annual Aviation Camp held the first week in June. Flying in a Cessna 145 is one of many highlights of this camp. Teens entering their sophomore or junior year of high-school are selected through a competitive application process.
Those eligible are OCONUS and CONUS family members of:
- Active Duty Military assigned to or living on an AF installation
- Activated Air National Guard or AF Reserve
- Joint Bases (AF lead) Active Duty, and Civilian employees
Air Force Services' Teen Leadership Camp
The Air Force Reserve/Air National Guard Teen Leadership Summit is a week-long camp for 14-18 year old dependent teens of current Air Force Reserve or Air National Guard military members. Teens will focus on leadership development and self-confidence, learn about programs and services available to AF dependents, and build an appreciation for and sense of belonging to the AF community. They will be given a voice to inform AF senior leadership of their top issues as AF dependents.
At both Summits, leadership classes will be taught throughout the week and teens will learn about the mission of the AFR and ANG. Summits also include military traditions, community service projects, musical performances, and environmental education classes.
Air Force Space Camp - Huntsville, AL
Once again, 12-18 year olds can find it takes to be an astronaut at the 6-day residential Air Force Space Camp. Imagine experiencing simulated Space Shuttle missions, training simulators, rocket building and launches, scientific experiments, and lectures on the past, present, and future of space exploration. The camp is the last week in July. Participants are selected through a competitive application process. Find out more camp features at www.spacecamp.com
American Wanderer Summer Camp - RV Camp for Kids
The next generation of a traditional summer camp for boys and girls ages 11-17. Our Cabins roll and our Camp moves. Our Campers and Guides explore some of the most magnificent parks in the world - all right here in America. We offer 4 distinct 2 week sessions exploring over 34 Parks in Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, South Dakota, Utah and Wyoming.
Scholarships - Children of Active Duty, Reserve, National Guard, Retired and Former Service members are all eligible to apply. Children of Wounded Warriors must annotate their applications as such due to multiple categories of funding sources. National Guard, Military Reserve and Wounded Warriors should also see www.ourmilitarykids.org for additional funding.
Army Reserve Summer Camps
Summer camp experiences for Army Reserve Youth offered by Operation: Military Kid, 4H, Boys and Girls Club, and other entities.
Bernard Curtis Brown II Memorial NASA Space Camp Scholarship
The Space Camp is a six-day program that shows young men and women firsthand what it takes to be an astronaut. Activities include simulated Space Shuttle missions, training simulators, rocket building and launches, scientific experiments, and lectures of the past, present, and future of space exploration.
Space Camp is offered in Huntsville, Alabama, and takes a unique, fun and hands-on approach to learning outside the classroom – and students leave with a greater appreciation for school and their studies. Each child learns about astronauts and space travel, but they also experience something even more important: developing bonds of friendship. For more detailed information about Space Camp, visit their web site at www.spacecamp.com.
The Bernard Curtis Brown II Memorial Space Camp scholarship is funded by the Military Child Education Coalition (MCEC). The scholarship covers full tuition to include:
- Round trip transportation (from student’s home base to Space Camp)
Student applicant must first meet the requirements below:
- The child of a military member on active duty or mobilized Guard or Reserves, post 9/11 veteran; OR
- The child of a military member who died while serving on active duty or mobilized Guard or
- Reserve status; AND enrolled in grades 6 through 9
Camp C.O.P.E. provides military families with an unforgettable weekend at camp. Camp C.O.P.E. gives these children hope and patience and courage. Camp C.O.P.E lets them be just kids- again! Through therapeutic interventions, certified therapists teach children and their families how to cope with their changed world due to deployment, injury or loss of a family member as a result of their service in our country’s military. Camp C.O.P.E. provides weekend camps across the country free of charge to children and families of military personnel. This is done through generous donations and grants from individuals and our corporate partners. Camp C.O.P.E was established in 2004 and is classified as a non-profit 501c (3) organization.
Camp Corral is a free, one-of-a-kind summer camp for children of wounded, disabled or fallen military service members. Since its founding, Camp Corral has grown to 20 camps in 16 states, and served over 4,000 children. Although any child from a military family is eligible, registration priority is given to children of wounded, disabled or fallen military service members.
Camp Desert Kids (Military Families United)
There are more than one million military kids, most of whom will be affected by deployment during their childhood. Deployment is challenging for children, not only because they do not always understand the separation from their parent, but also because they have trouble conceptualizing where Mom or Dad has gone and what they're doing there.
Through a fun and educational event hosted at locations across the country, Camp Desert Kids gives military children the opportunity to experience deployment with their homefront parent in a unique way. Utilizing games, maps, fun facts, cultural activities, crafts, regional food and drink, and even the chance to dress up like Mom or Dad in full camouflage gear, Camp Desert Kids works to reduce the unknown in our military children’s lives.
Camp Yellow Ribbon (Oconomowoc, WI)
Camp Yellow Ribbon 2014 will take place August 11-15, 2014 at Indian Mound Scout Reservation, 36712 Indian Mound Scout Rd, Oconomowoc, WI.
Camp Yellow Ribbon offers a free week of summer fun for military kids with parents who have been, are currently, or will be deployed.
Camp Yellow Ribbon provides a fun and educational outlet for children in military families, from all service branches. The goal of this specialized camp is to help them to learn how to cope with the challenges of having a family member who is deployed or has returned from overseas.
Our goal is to create a memorable camp experience and an exciting week of outdoor fun and adventure while allowing campers the opportunity to gather and learn in a safe place, vent their fears and frustrations and to meet other children who are experiencing similar challenges. Camp Yellow Ribbon also gives campers opportunities to learn, grow, and celebrate the military experience.
Champion Kids Camp (Houston, TX)
Champions Kids Camp is dedicated to the nurturing of children who have survived a traumatic injury, illness, or personal loss, such as the loss of a parent or sibling. This also includes separation from a parent who is serving abroad in the military or who have now returned home. Through a week-long camp, children between the ages of 8 and 12 are able to heal from the “emotional scarring” they have experienced in their young lives.
Camp consists of music, art, sports, recreation and special guests. Children are nurtured physically, mentally and emotionally. We teach them at camp that they are over-comers. Camp is free of charge to those who are accepted; we do fill up by our May 31st deadline (camp is July 20-25, 2014) so apply soon.
Channel 3 Kids Camp (Andover, CT)
Channel 3 Kids Camp is offering a special week of camp for military kids ages 8-17 during the week of July 13-18, 2014! For more information visit their website. Enrollment cost is $50 per child.
Defending the Blue Line
Our mission at Defending The Blue Line (DTBL) is ensuring that children of military members are afforded every opportunity to participate in the game of hockey. We accomplish this by providing free equipment for military kids, hockey camps, special events, and financial assistance for registration fees and other costs associated with hockey.
Department of Defense Summer Camp Experiences
During the school year, it's easy to fill your children's schedules with activities - but what about during the summer? If your children are looking for something exciting to do, the Department of Defense (DoD) is here to help. Each year, the DoD provides summer camp opportunities for your children, giving them a chance to have fun, meet new people, and develop skills that will benefit them for years to come.
Girls on Ice
Girls on Ice is a unique, FREE, wilderness science education program for high school girls. Each year two teams of 9 teenage girls and 3 instructors spend 11 days exploring and learning about mountain glaciers and the alpine landscape through scientific field studies with professional glaciologists, ecologists, artists, and mountaineers. One team explores Mount Baker, an ice-covered volcano in the North Cascades of Washington State. The other team sleeps under the midnight sun exploring an Alaskan glacier. Military kids are encouraged to apply!
Military Teen Adventure Camps
Would you like to spend time whitewater rafting, hiking, rock climbing, winter camping, backpacking, mountain biking, exploring the environment, running ropes courses, or practicing wilderness skills? What if you could do these activities with other military youth just like you?
Military teens (14-18 years old) will have an opportunity to participate in adventure camps scheduled May 2014 through April 2015 at little to no cost. These high energy, high adventure, and high experience camps are planned across the United States from New Hampshire to Washington and from Colorado to South Carolina as well as states in between. This is the perfect chance for you to experience the outdoors as you never have before!
Each camp offers a unique outdoor experience that will allow you to build your leadership, self-confidence, and teamwork skills while participating in activities like camp cooking and archery. Camps have funding available to assist with transportation costs.
Camps for youth with special needs (mental, physical, and emotional) are also planned in New Hampshire. Opportunities to camp as a whole family are available in Kentucky and Washington. There is something for everyone!
Minnesota National Guard Youth/Teen Camp (Camp Ripley, MN)
The Minnesota National Guard Youth/Teen Camp is for children of active and retired Minnesota National Guard Servicemembers. Activities include archery, hiking, biking, canoeing and camping - all while connecting with other military kids. Exploring a training site at Camp Ripley, seeing various military vehicles and marching in formation help youth better understand the military their parents serve in.
Motocross Camp (Georgia)
MTF is pleased to announce the 6th annual Free Motocross Camp for Military Families will be April 2014.
If you are active duty or retired military and have not previously attended our free military camp then you may register now by sending us an email as soon as possible (maximum two riders per family). If you have been to this camp before we will register you if spaces are available after the early registration period ends.
Operation Military Kids Summer Camps
Operation: Military Kids is proud to host camping experiences for the children, youth and families of all military services experiencing deployment. Visit the link for information on camps for 2014. Also visit the link "State Information" on their website (and their state Facebook page) to learn of camp opportunities for military children in your state.
Operation Outdoors (ASYMCA)
(awaiting 2014 information)
Tens of thousands of U.S. service men and women have deployed overseas to Afghanistan and Iraq, and it is their families at home — particularly the children — that have experienced the anxiety and bewilderment of deployment. The Armed Services YMCA (ASYMCA) Operation Outdoors camp program provides an opportunity for these children to take a break from their everyday worries. The unique atmosphere of the camp provides an opportunity for military kids to meet and have fun with each other and build a support network of friends going through the same experience. Children are also able to take advantage of outdoor activities that will help foster leadership and teamwork skills, and boost their self-esteem.
In addition to the camps for children, the ASYMCA sponsors camps that reunite families with loved ones returning from war. Service members are able to take mini getaways to the outdoors and spend quality time with their entire family, catching up and reconnecting.
Operation Purple Camp (National Military Family Association)
Operation Purple camps offer a free week of summer fun for military kids with parents who have been, are currently, or will be deployed. The goal of the Operation Purple camp program is to give military children tools to help deal with the stresses that result from a parent’s deployment, through a memorable camp experience in a “purple” environment. Operation Purple camps are open to military children of all ranks and services: active and reserve components—and give priority to children whose parents are in a deployment phase.
Plantation Military Camp Program (Broward County, FL)
The Frank Veltri Tennis Center, the Plantation Tennis Tournament Committee and the Broward County Veterans Council have been working together since Summer 2010 to provide free tennis camp scholarships to children with a parent or parents on active duty or who are currently deployed and reside in Broward County, Florida.
Purple Heart Ranch (Sterling City, TX)
(Military Warriors Hero Support Foundation)
Purple Heart Ranch is open exclusively to combat wounded heroes and to Gold Star families. The ranch is also open to children of combat wounded heroes and those who have a parent currently deployed to a combat zone. Both the families of the wounded heroes and the parents of the children are encouraged to come and enjoy the experience with the hunters. There is fishing available at both properties and many other activities for the families. Both ranches are rich in history and are littered with Native American artifacts, especially arrow heads.
Send a Kid to Camp (Island Lake and Miracle Ranch, Washington)
Started in 2011 as a summer camp for children of military families, Operation Xtreme camps have grown to include multiple weeks and weekends that give military kids the opportunity to experience fun-filled camps.
Since then, we've welcomed over 1,500 children from military families, and our goal is to continually serve more families with special camps and events.
Sisters under Sail - Daughters of US Military Sailing Scholarship
(awaiting 2014 information)
Sisters Under Sail is a non-profit dedicated to teaching teenage girls leadership skills and life lessons through sail training.
Daughters of U.S. Military and Canadian Forces, age 13 – 18, have been invited to sail aboard Tall Ship Unicorn with Sisters Under Sail as we sail the Great Lakes in 2013. Sailing as the only all-female crewed tall ship in the world, Sisters Under Sail is dedicated to teaching teen girls leadership skills and life lessons through sail training.
To honor their service and sacrifice, Sisters will award several scholarships to teens whose parent(s) is a Fallen Warrior or Active Duty, Active Status in the Military, including the National Guard, Reservists and Coast Guard.
The Comfort Crew for Military Kids - Camp Hero
The Comfort Crew regularly hosts camps for military youth to support their physical, social, and emotional resiliency.
The First Tee
Through a congressional appropriation, The First Tee will provide life skills education and character development to children of men and women of the United States Armed Forces.
The First Tee will be able to accomplish this by using a three-pronged impact approach:
1. The chapter based "Military Affiliate Program" on domestic installations
2. The First Tee Nine Core Values Program and
3. The First Tee Program for Children of Guardsmen and Reservists
The Joint Science and Technology Institute for Students
The Joint Science and Technology Institute for Students is a two-week, all expenses paid, residential program for current high school students in the United States. The purpose of the program is to expose students to scientific research through hands-on projects, to enable students to work with real-world scientists, and to increase students’ awareness of career opportunities in related fields. The 2014 JSTI will be held July 19 - Aug. 1, 2014 in Aberdeen, MD.
The Little Warriors - A Brian Bill Project
(for children of Naval Special Warfare)
The Little Warriors A Brian Bill Project is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing outdoor adventure to the children of Naval Special Warfare (current, former, retired, KIA families).
The Little Warriors A Brian Bill Project is working with Outward Bound to bring the best possible adventure to you.
Canyoneering is the sport of exploring and navigating rugged, often steep-walled, and narrow canyons. Nowhere is this sport more challenging than in Utah, whose spectacular terrain features huge mesas, towering mountains, ancient rock paintings and cliff dwellings of Native Americans. Open deserts have been carved by rivers into deep canyons, ravines, and precipitous drops, that require you to rappel down sections of these slot canyons. Outward Bound’s canyoneering trips take you far beyond hiking camps and hiking adventures, into some of the most fragile environments and inspiring landscapes.
Experience Moab on this extraordinary expedition, combining a beautiful and challenging environment, with activities that place an emphasis on individual growth and community.
Tidewater Military Family Services (Hampton Roads, VA)
TMFSC is proud to provide summer camp scholarships to military children who reside in the Hampton Roads area. It is our way of giving back to the local military community in a way that provides enrichment and recreation to the unsung heroes....the children who live with parents in harm's way, children who spend many hours or weeks apart from their loved ones, children who did not volunteer to serve, but nonetheless support the mission or our Armed Forces by being good students, family members, and loving support for their mom or dad. Carefree time at summer camp is their reward.
Application deadline: May 21, 2014
Tiger Woods Learning Center Summer Camp (Anaheim, CA)
Building robots, eating s'mores, learning the artistic & technical sides of animation, and designing a video game makes for an unforgettable summer learning experience. The Tiger Woods Learning Center (TWLC) in Anaheim, California is partnering with several military installations to invite youth from underserved backgrounds to participate in our one-of-a-kind S.T.E.M. (science, technology, engineering and math) and golf programs. The students spend a week utilizing cutting edge technology learning the skills needed to be an engineer, zoologist, video game architect, kitchen chemist or car designer. Spending the days at the Learning Center and the evenings at the Irvine Ranch Outdoor Education Center in Orange, California provides a balance between summertime education and fun.
Upward Sports offers a scholarship to every child whose parent or legal guardian is serving overseas.
The world's largest Christian sports league for children, Upward Sports offers a first-class sports experience that emphasizes healthy competition, sportsmanship, skills building and fun versus the "win-at-all-costs" mentality found in many children sports leagues. Upward Sports Leagues teach K5 through sixth-grade children skills for the sports arena and values for life through basketball, soccer, flag football and cheerleading leagues. Today, more than one million people from 46 states play, coach, referee or volunteer in Upward Sports Leagues.
VFW Camp Dawson (Kingwood, WV)
The Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Department of West Virginia invites youth to attend it's annual Youth Camp. Youth must be between the ages of eleven and fourteen. The week-long camp will be conducted at the West Virginia National Guard Base located near Kingwood, WV. This is a mildly styled basic training youth camp emphasizing patriotism, life saving skills and development of self-confidence. There is no charge to those in attendance as all expenses are paid by the Veterans of Foreign Wars. Anyone interested in sending a youth may contact their nearest VFW Post for additional information.
VFW Camp Trotter (Newaygo, MI)
Camp Trotter is a children’s camp located 7 miles East of Newaygo on M-82. The camp sits on the shores of one of west Michigan's beautiful and picturesque lakes. It is owned and operated by the Department of Michigan Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States. The management and oversight is carried out by a committee of elected members of the Michigan VFW, who take pride in keeping the camp in pristine condition to ensure the comfort and Safety of our guests. The camp is fully licensed and insured with the State of Michigan.
Camp Trotter exists primarily for children of veterans, but is not limited thereto; we offer five weeks of camping to children seven to twelve years old from all over the United States. The camp includes summer activities on site including swimming, boating, hiking, biking, arts and crafts, archery, softball, volleyball, as well as campfire activities. The children are given a general knowledge of science, art, and nature, and taught patriotism, courage, self reliance and kindred virtues. We try to further instill upon our campers morals and values by combining educational activities with fun, our goal is to guide and assist our youth to build a more conscientious, responsible, and productive society.
Other opportunities for military kids
Civil Air Patrol Cadet Program
Would you like to honor and serve America? Do you want to prepare for your future while making new friends? Then rise to the challenge of cadet membership in the U.S. Air Force Auxiliary, Civil Air Patrol.
Cadets fly, learn to lead, hike, camp, get in shape, and push themselves to new limits. If you’re dreaming about a career in aviation, space, or the military, CAP’s Cadet Program is for you.
To become a cadet, you must be be at least 12 years old and not yet 19 years old. Cadets meet 2 hours per week and one Saturday per month, on average, and also have opportunities to attend leadership encampments, career academies, and other activities during the summer.
Junior Girls (Ladies Auxiliary VFW)
Come JUMP! with us in the Junior Unit Merit Program, where you can earn digital badges for all the amazing work you do as a Junior Girl. Some you can do all by yourself, and some are way more fun with your fellow Junior Girls. With more than 40 badges to earn, you’ll have plenty to keep you busy all year long
To be a Junior Girl of the Ladies Auxiliary VFW, you must be 5 to 16 years of age and be a daughter, foster daughter, stepdaughter, granddaughter, sister, foster sister, step sister, or half sister …of someone who is eligible for the VFW. This would be someone who has served overseas in a U.S. military conflict that the VFW recognizes as a foreign war.
Naval Sea Cadet Corps
The Naval Sea Cadet Corps (NSCC) is for American youth ages 13-17 who have a desire to learn about the Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard and Merchant Marine. Sea Cadets are authorized by the Secretary of the Navy to wear Navy uniforms appropriately marked with the Sea Cadet Corps insignia. The objectives of the Sea Cadet program are to introduce youth to naval life, to develop in them a sense of pride, patriotism, courage, and self-reliance, and to maintain an environment free of drugs and gangs.
The Navy League Cadet Corps (NLCC) is for boys and girls, at least 10 but not yet 14 years old, who are interested in the sea and ships, and our nation's seagoing services. The Navy League program is designed to introduce young people to maritime and military life, and to prepare them for later entrance into the Naval Sea Cadet Corps.
The Young Marines is a youth education and service program for boys and girls, ages 8 through completion of high school. The Young Marines promotes the mental, moral, and physical development of its members. The program focuses on character building, leadership, and promotes a healthy, drug-free lifestyle.