Armed Services YMCA is continuing to expand its reach with camps, which gets more military children outdoors, and gives them and their families additional support.
Camp makes a difference for military children
One of those military children helped by camping in 2018 was Nakoah.
“Being a military kid is very different,” Nakoah said. “You move around a lot. When your Mom or Dad deploys, it is very sad because you don’t know what’s going to happen to them. It was very challenging when my Dad got deployed. I knew his job was dangerous and I didn’t want him to die yet. I didn’t want to go to school because they were going to ask me what was wrong and I’d have to tell them my emotions and I didn’t want to. I didn’t want to go to school because of that.
“When I came back from camp, Mom realized I’d matured more, and Dad was surprised I got a responsibility award for camper of the week. It made me feel happy that they recognized how I’d grown. I was there for just one week and it changed my life.”
Armed Services YMCA’s core programs such as Operation Camp provide social, recreational and educational enrichment for military children. Armed Services YMCA camping opportunities are offered at minimal cost. In 2018, there were 2,000 new day and overnight camp opportunities to children of junior enlisted service members in nearly a dozen locations.
With the addition of four affiliates — San Antonio; Seattle; Middle Tennessee near Fort Campbell, Ky., and Kitsap in Washington state — the Armed Services YMCA will add about 370 weeks of camping availability to the nearly 10,500 weeks provided.
Various programs and activities are offered at summer camps. These include STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) experiments, field trips, music, swimming, cooking classes and taekwondo.
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. Visit here to get updates.