Military Kids Summer Fun

Depending on where you are stationed at, your kids are either enjoying their first week of summer vacation or will be soon. Some¬†of my greatest memories from childhood is attending summer camp.¬†I didn’t know it then, but the cost for summer camp wasn’t easy to afford, and I am sure learning this now with 2 kids ready to go on an adventure. If you are looking for places to help your kids branch out, try new things and meet new friends, let us help you find affordable camp programs!

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. Click here for more details.

The Armed Services YMCA or ASYMCA offers junior enlisted families the chance to participate in family, youth, and teen camps year-round at their 31 branches and affiliates. These programs are free or offered at low-cost. Programs may vary by location. Click here to find your nearest ASYMCA.B2_S-A_YMCA_Camp-Erdman_w-550x412

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. Click here for more details.

The National Military Family Association offers Operation Purple Camp, a free week of summer camp to kids ages 7 to 17 with parents who have been, are currently, or will be deployed. These camps are open to all military children of all ranks and services, both active and reserve. Priority is given to children who have a parent in a deployment phase. Click here for more details.

Military Teen Adventure Camps are for military teens aged 14 to 18. These camps are scheduled June 2015 through April 2016 at little to no cost and include fun outdoor activities whitewater rafting, and hiking. Specific camp details, including dates, may change based on conditions and availability. Click here for more details.

Help your child make the most of the summer months with the following Morale, Welfare and Recreation facilities and activities:

  • Summer jobs – Summer vacation can mean that teens suddenly have some free time. If your teen is ready for some added responsibility and a little extra income, check out the employment opportunities offered through your Morale, Welfare and Recreation; applications may even be available online.
  • Volunteer opportunities – Volunteering is another great way for teens to learn responsibility, add experience to their resumes and give back to the military community. Opportunities vary by installation, so check with your installation’s Morale, Welfare and Recreation for opportunities and requirements.
  • Organized sports – Encourage your teen to join a team during the summer as a fun way to stay fit, active and accountable. Team availability varies by installation, so check locally to find out what is available during the summer months for your teen’s age bracket.
  • Concerts and shows – There are frequently low or no-cost concerts and other performances right on the installation – often open only to Department of Defense families. Your teen might enjoy a night of music or a comedy act with friends, so check frequently with your local Morale, Welfare and Recreation for upcoming events.
  • Information, Tickets and Travel – Sometimes an adventure is waiting in your own community. Encourage your teen to explore the area surrounding your installation with the help of Information, Tickets and Travel. Here your teen can find discounted admission to local attractions, like theme parks, museums or sports venues.
  • Installation recreation centers – Summertime isn’t all about the outdoors; depending on where you are, you may be looking for fun ways to beat the heat indoors. Look no further than your installation’s recreation center. Here your teen can access computers, gaming systems, craft projects and special events. Volunteer opportunities may also be available here for teens during the summer.
  • Libraries – Another escape from the summer heat is your installation’s library. Your teen can browse newspapers and magazines or check out an interesting book to read at home or on the beach. Books are also available for download through the online library resources or your service’s library portal.
  • Equipment rentals – Your installation’s Morale, Welfare and Recreation offers outdoor recreation equipment rentals that can turn a boring afternoon into a soccer game or volleyball tournament. Teens may also be able to rent equipment, like golf clubs, tennis rackets or life jackets to use at a fitness facility or installation park.
  • Installation parks, picnic areas, water access and family camps – Chances are your installation has a park or water access, like a marina, beach, lake or river available to military families for all types of adventures. Teens can spend a summer day at the beach without ever leaving the installation. Availability varies depending on where you are, but you can explore your options by contacting your local Morale, Welfare and Recreation to find these areas.
  • Graduation parties – If your teen is graduating this year, Morale, Welfare and Recreation can help you plan an unforgettable graduation party. Inquire locally for possible venues and catering options.

Summers with Morale, Welfare and Recreation are anything but boring for your child. To find more information about any of these facilities or programs, contact your installation’s Morale, Welfare and Recreation Department or Outdoor Recreation Department.

Check out and MilitaryOneSource for additional resources!

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