As part of its core mission of Strengthening Our Military Family™, Armed Services YMCA camps encourage healthy living and provide social and recreational opportunities for military children and families which have experienced multiple deployments and moves. Offered at minimal cost to military families, camp not only helps the military child flourish, but their parents as well – with the assurance that their child will return from camp with new friendships, more confidence, and pride.
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.”
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.
Camps offer a fun, educational and safe outdoors experience for military children to bond, make new friends and build support networks by connecting with others who have similar backgrounds and experiences as members of the military community. Camps also help to reduce the civilian-military divide by connecting military children with their civilian peers.
Bake Me A Wish! has served military families for over a decade. Since its inception, it has delivered over 25,000 baked goods to those serving overseas, as well as to U.S. veterans hospitals.
Contact Armed Services YMCA if your organization is interested in supporting Operation Camp and helping create lifetime memories for a military child.
The Armed Services YMCA is a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit that serves currently serving military members and their families. In 2018, we registered nearly 300,000 participants and delivered nearly 1.5 million points of services at 200 service centers in 20 states. Armed Services YMCA is a nonprofit with a mission: Strengthening Our Military Family.