The Armed Services YMCA offers junior enlisted families the chance to participate in family, youth, and teen camps year-round at our 34 branches and affiliate locations through our Operation Outdoors program. Operation Outdoors encourages healthy living as part of our core mission of making military life easier. In partnership with sponsors like Newman’s Own Foundation, ASYMCA camps and retreats provide much needed recreational and bonding opportunities for military children and families who have experienced multiple deployments.
The goal of Operation Outdoors is to provide a fun, educational and safe outdoor experience for military children and families to bond, make new friends and build their support networks by connecting with others who have similar backgrounds and experiences as members of the military community.
Operation Outdoors Aims To:
- Increase opportunities for junior enlisted military children to have quality outdoor experiences in the natural world
- Improve the quality of outdoor environmental education for military children and families
- Strengthen networking among organizations that provide outdoor experiences for military children
- Build confidence and enhance self image
- Improve social skills that reflect age-appropriate behavior
- Teach healthy management and expression of anger, and conflict resolution
- Increase bonds with family and encourage developing relationships with other military children
- Equip military children and families with tools and resources to cope with the challenges of being a military child or family
Why We Need Your Support…
Outdoor activities are the most requested programs by troops and their families. The ASYMCA consistently has more demand for outdoor programs than we can meet. We continually expand our programming and funding, but unfortunately we were still unable to meet the demand. Registration for our camps and retreats fills up quickly and many are left on wait lists.
If you or your company is interested in supporting Operation Outdoors, contact Sharon Gleason, Director of Financial Development.
A Mother’s Perspective
“My daughter was fortunate to experience that last week and the benefits of one day, let alone a week, are huge in her world right now. With all the challenges our kids face, this helped her tremendously with her coping skills and self-esteem issues she’s currently having. She was provided with many tools and resources she can use now and in the future.” – Military Spouse*
“Hi this is Ynessa from camp. I just wanted to let you know how much fun it was, and I wish I could go back next year I really enjoyed learning what my parents do in the Army during our military day event and I also met a lot of new friends who I keep in touch with. I hope my brother can go next year. Since he’s old enough now, and I also want to say thank you. Last year, I just moved to Tennessee. I had a lot of fun last year, and even more fun this year. I hope camp goes on so other kids can enjoy it too. I also want to thank everyone who volunteers and those whose donations keeps these camps going for us military kids.” – Ynessa, military child, father deployed to Afghanistan.
Interested in attending an Operation Outdoors camp or retreat? Contact your local ASYMCA location for more details on dates and locations.
Be Involved with the ASYMCA
The Armed Services Y provides free or low-cost youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility programs for junior enlisted military & their families to make military life easier.
Click the links to learn more about how you can be involved:
Donate Volunteer Participate