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Jun 11, 2018 9:30:00 AM

Fort Hood | Armed Services YMCA Helps Send Military Kids to Summer Camp

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This summer, the Armed Services YMCA and YMCA's across the country will help send more military kids to summer camp than ever before! The initiative will provide more than 2,000 new day and overnight camp opportunities to children of junior enlisted service members in nearly a dozen locations during the summer of 2018! Camps and camping are the most requested programs by troops and their families. They provide great psychological and health benefits, while also building valuable life skills like self-esteem, self-reliance and independence.

In addition to day camp opportunities at Armed Services YMCA branches, the Armed Services YMCA and YMCA affiliates will provide greater camp access to military kids in Jacksonville & Kings Bay, Greater Rochester, Metropolitan Fort Worth, Southern Arizona, Colorado Springs and Northern Utah. Registration will come at little or no cost to military families.

"We recognize the significant role that we play in creating both learning and bonding opportunities for hundreds of military children,” said Rich Micelli the Chief Operation Officer of the Metropolitan Fort Worth YMCA. “We pride ourselves in creating an environment where self-confidence, individuality and camaraderie flourish.”

ASYMCA will also offer summer day camps at our branches in San Diego, Fort Bragg, El Paso, Killeen, Hampton Roads, Camp Pendelton, Fort Leonard Wood and Hawaii, all focused on providing a fun, educational and safe experience for military children. The camps will feature a variety of programs including: Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) experiments, adventurous field trips, art, music, swimming, outdoor play and more. (Camp programs vary by location)

Camps encourage youth development and healthy living, which is a part of our core mission of strengthening our military family,” Armed Services YMCA President, William French, said. “We hope to provide much needed recreational and bonding opportunities, connecting military kids with others who have similar experiences as members of the military community.”

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Day and resident camps are an enriching alternative to traditional child care during the summer. They not only provide a variety of engaging opportunities for military children but also facilitate lifelong friendships. The experience helps integrate military children into the broader community, which helps combat isolation and bridges the civilian-military divide.

One parent of camper, Peter, stated that his son was able to make new friends at camp. “We transferred here three months ago, and our son Peter hadn’t made any good connections with children his age. During camp, Peter made several new friends and is much happier. That is what we were hoping for when we enrolled him in camp.”

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Children like Peter move about six to nine times during their school career, and skills acquired through the camp program can make their move less traumatic and ease those transitions while building long-lasting friendships.

Interested in signing your child up for an Armed Services YMCA or affiliate summer camp program? Contact your local Armed Services YMCA and/or Armed Services YMCA affiliate for details on dates and location. Eligibility criteria varies by camp location.