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Jul 11, 2019 12:49:39 PM

Campers share experiences with foundation, board members and staff

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It was a great day outdoors for military children from Fort Hood, Texas, attending summer camp at Camp Carter in Fort Worth, as they had the chance to share their excitement with members of the Jordan Spieth Family Foundation, Armed Services YMCA and YMCA of Metropolitan Fort Worth, Texas.

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On Monday, June 24, Annie Spieth, wife of PGA TOUR Professional Jordan Spieth, and Christine Spieth, Jordan’s mother, both representing the foundation, joined board members and staff of Armed Services YMCA and Metropolitan Fort Worth YMCA for a tour of Camp Carter. They visited with the Fort Hood campers and staff over lunch, and each camper was presented a special treat by the JSFF — a cookie with the Jordan Spieth Family Foundation logo.

“The Jordan Spieth Family Foundation is excited to have an opportunity to support military families in this way,” Annie Spieth said. “The outdoor camping experience is so important for these young people to connect with each other, the outdoors and really have a week to focus on their own well-being and growth, all while offering parents respite at home. It’s a privilege for us to have the Armed Services YMCA as one of our 2019 Community Partners, and even more amazing to get to see these kids enjoying camp firsthand.”

The Jordan Spieth Family Foundation has been a supporter of youth development programs through the Armed Services YMCA for multiple years. This year’s support is focused on military children with parent(s) stationed at Fort Hood in Killeen, Texas.

It was clear during the visit that the 51 campers from Fort Hood were making memories at the YMCA of Metropolitan Fort Worth’s camp, located less than 20 minutes from downtown Fort Worth. During the lunch discussion, campers talked about the many outdoor opportunities available at Camp Carter. The camp features fishing, canoeing, a community garden which produces vegetables for the community and the camp, a swimming pool, and ropes course. One camper said it was her first time on an archery range and she was thrilled to try the climbing wall. Campers also expressed that they were making new friends.

“As a parent who raised military children, spending the day with the Fort Hood campers at Camp Carter brought back so many memories,” said Andy Walsh, Armed Services YMCA National Board Member. “It reminded me of the importance of community and connecting with others who understand the difficulty our military families ⁠— especially children ⁠— experience.  When our military children share camp together, they have an opportunity to make lifelong friends. Operation Camp helps build confidence, self-esteem, character, and valued friendships. Through these experiences, the entire military family benefits.”

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

The Armed Services YMCA’s core programs, including camp and camping opportunities, provide social, recreational and educational enrichment for military children and families. Armed Services YMCA camping opportunities are offered at minimal cost to military families through Operation Camp, one of the avenues supported by the Jordan Spieth Family Foundation in this 2019 Community Grant.

“I didn’t serve in the military but am grateful to each family member who serves. Data clearly shows that young, enlisted families have financial struggles. These programs are critical to the long-term development of military youth and their extended families,” Derek Blake, National Board Member for Armed Services YMCA, said.

For military children, camps and camping are an opportunity to make friends, try new activities and learn new skills.

“Camps encourage youth development and healthy living, which is a part of our core mission of strengthening our military family,” Ashish Vazirani, Armed Services Chief Development Officer, 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. Our objective through Operation Camp is to create lifetime memories for a military child.”

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ABOUT ARMED SERVICES YMCA:
The Armed Services YMCA is a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit that serves currently serving military members and their families. In 2017, we registered more than 250,000 participants and delivered more than 1.3 million points of services to junior enlisted Soldiers, Marines, Sailors, Airmen, Coast Guardsmen and family members at 200 service centers in 18 states. Whether providing respite child care for parents in need, summer camps for kids, or assisting with emergency needs, the Armed Services YMCA is a nonprofit with a mission: Strengthening Our Military Family. Visit our website to see how you can join us in supporting military families.

ABOUT JORDAN SPIETH FAMILY FOUNDATION:
The Jordan Spieth Family Foundation offers a platform for three-time Major champion Jordan Spieth and his family to lend time, help grow awareness and offer financial support to four philanthropic areas that mean a great deal to the Spieth family: youth with special needs, junior golf, military families and pediatric cancer. “The Foundation works alongside community programs to help families in any way we can,” Spieth said. The platform names annual community partner organizations to receive support both in the Dallas area and on a national landscape.