Operation Purple Camp offers military children a free week of summer camp and gives them a chance to connect with other kids who have shared experiences. The camp is a program offered by the National Military Family Association each summer. Children from all uniformed services, including National Guard, Reserve, Space Force, and the Commissioned Corps of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and United States Public Health Service may apply.
The deadline for Summer 2020 Camps is April 12, 2020. First preference is given to military children who have a parent that was wounded, ill or injured during service or have been deployed 18 months prior to or after May 2020.
Military Spouse Pam McFarland is a fan. “Alex loved the camp that year. It was well run, and he had a great time. It was a great opportunity for him to spend some time with other kids who also had currently deployed parents,” she said.
Operation Purple Camps are held throughout the country and you can visit the Interactive Map to click on a state you might like to send your child to. A listing will pop up giving you all the specifics for that camp such as location and the age group range for the program. Many of the camps are held at YMCAs, 4H, or church camp facilities. Once you have completed your application and you are notified your child was selected to attend an Operation Purple camp session in 2020 they will be required to submit an online “Hold My Spot” Deposit of $25 per child.
Your child can expect to enjoy a great summer camp experience. Each week includes arts and crafts and outdoor activities, like ropes courses, canoeing, swimming, archery, and climbing walls. The counselors and camp staff are trained to help children adapt and overcome the stressors of military life. They will meet other military kids who understand what it is like to have a parent in the military. Campers are encouraged to share their experiences and their sacrifices are honored.
Why Purple? Purple is the color of the military child and it also is what you get when you mix of Army green, Coast Guard blue, Air Force blue, Marine Corps red, and Navy blue. Operation Purple Camp has served more than 64,000 military kids since its inception in 2004, and the memories made last a lifetime.
Currently with Covid-19 or Corona Virus in the new, here are the safety steps Operation Purple Programs are taking:
- First and foremost, we want you to be safe.
- We are carefully monitoring the situation and listening closely to advice and directives coming from the CDC and the federal government.
- Here are some extra precautions being taken to ensure families stay healthy:
- Camps are increasing how often surfaces are cleaned.
- We are working on getting extra hand sanitizer, but please bring your own if you have it; Hand sanitizer is getting harder to come by.
- As for travel, please for the safety of all campers, stay home if you or anyone in your family is sick. We will refund Hold My Spot payments if you are unable to attend due to illness.
Marguerite Cleveland is a freelance writer who specializes in human interest and travel stories. She is a military brat, a veteran and now a military spouse. Her military experience is vast as the daughter of a Navy man who served as an enlisted sailor and then Naval Officer. She served as an enlisted soldier in the reserves and on active duty, then as an Army Officer. She currently serves as a military spouse. She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and two sons. Visit her website www.WanderWordsWine.com