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Family Fun

Spring Into Summer Camp  

Plan now for summer camp: First with a practice run in your own yard, then by signing up for summer activities discounted for military kids and teens. Spring into action now and be better prepared later!

Camp Home Base
Set up your own family camp on the deck or backyard. Teens, this is a great opportunity to hone your leadership skills as you help younger kids learn to love camping.
•  Find a clear area to pitch a tent or use a make-believe tent
•  To make a tent, run a rope between posts or trees and drape a sheet over the rope or drapes sheets or blankets over two tables
•  Arrange sleeping bags and pillows inside the tent

Add an optional water feature
•  A pool
•  Sprinkler
•  Run the hose down the slide on an outside play set

Pack dinner and breakfast
•  Freeze water bottles the day before your camp outing and pack them in a cooler
•  Place healthy snacks and easy meals in the cooler too
•  Don’t forget paper plates, plastic utensils, cups and napkins or paper towels

Plan activities
•  Use a flashlight to look for night crawlers and spiders spinning webs
•  Listen for owls and other nocturnal animal sounds
•  Catch fireflies or other non-stinging bugs then let them go
•  Search for constellations and shooting stars

Create a flameless campfire
•  Make “logs” from paper towel rolls and “fire” from crumpled-up red, yellow and orange construction paper  
•  Add yellow or orange glow-sticks to the “campfire” to make it glow
•  If little ones are afraid of the dark, keep flashlights handy or leave house lights on so they’re more comfortable.

Summer Programs Just for You
April is the Month of the Military Child, which recognizes the important role military children play in our communities. It’s also a great time to make solid plans for summer camp, especially since April is often the application deadline. When you apply for camp, always ask if there’s a military discount. Teens, if you’re interested in growing your leadership skills, ask about summer camp jobs, like working as a counselor, in the kitchen or mess hall, or as a coach.

The incredible outdoor experiences at The National Military Family Association’s (NMFA) Operation Purple Camps empower military children and their families to develop and maintain healthy and connected relationships 
•  Operation Purple has now served nearly 45,000 military children and teens since 2004
•  Programs include
•  Camps for Teens
•  Family Retreats at National Parks
•  Camps geared to address the needs of children and families of wounded service members

The Armed Services YMCA salutes military kids throughout the year with a variety of programs
•  Membership fees at community YMCAs are underwritten by Department of Defense (DoD)
•  Eligible military families and active duty personnel can join programs focused on
•  Youth development
•  Family strengthening
•  Health and well-being

The U.S. Tennis Association (USTA) wants to help keep military kids active and moving with free memberships for military kids under 10 years old.

AFR/ANG Teen Leadership Summits are week-long programs for Air Force Reserve/Air National Guard teens (ages 14-18) that combine high adventure activities with hands-on leadership workshops propel teens to new heights. Find camp dates, locations and details online.

Air Force Services Child and Youth Programs offer a number of camps and activities to educate, guide, and entertain youths and teens. Programs are available throughout the year at installations throughout the world. Visit AF Youth Programs online for more details and ask your local Youth Programs Directors how you can participate.

Military Teen Adventure Camps will be announced in early April so keep checking the following website for more details:

American Wanderer Summer Camp invites military kids from across the U.S. to explore our National Parks this summer. The unique 2-week camp sessions explore more than 34 Parks in Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, South Dakota, Utah and Wyoming. Currently American Wanderer Summer Camp has openings available to middle & high school kids (11-17) from all branches of the military and the Coast Guard and they offer a military discount. For more information, visit:

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