Ahhhhhhh, summer! A time to kick back, relax and go insane when your children say, for the millionth time:
Instead of listening to them complain about their free time, send your military kids to camp this summer. And do it on the cheap at these free or discounted summer camps.
8 Free or Discounted Summer Camps for Military Kids
Operation Purple Camp
These are special camps just for military kids. They are held in a variety of locations around the country throughout the summer. Different camps run at different times and spots go quickly.
If you want to get your child into an Operation Purple Camp this summer, the time to act is now! Be sure to read the FAQs about who is eligible and the application process. While applicants are accepted mostly on a first-come, first-served basis, priority goes to kids with a parent deployed within the last year.
Armed Services YMCA
The Armed Services YMCA is a great resource for military families year-round, but it’s especially awesome in the summer. Through Operation Outdoors, the Armed Services YMCA helps to get military children enrolled in summer camps across the country.
To find out more about camp opportunities near you, contact your local ASYMCA branch.
American Wanderer Summer Camp
This camp is a super deluxe all-inclusive way to explore National Parks across the United States. Campers ages 11-17 can travel in “cabins on wheel” to different sites throughout each one-week session.
Military discounts and scholarships are available.
This is a summer camp that is open to all military children, with priority given to the kids of wounded, injured, ill or fallen service members. With locations from California to Florida, Camp Corral can reach a great number of military children and families. Spots are limited, so be sure to register your child early.
Military Teen Adventure Camps
For teens ages 14-18, the typical summer camp experience might start to get old. That’s where these adventure camps come into play. With locations in several states around the country, military children can enjoy exciting new experiences with their peers.
These camps aren’t limited to the summer either. There are camping opportunities throughout the year! Find out more about the camps by location or date.
Camp Yellow Ribbon
Channel 3 Kids Camp
This is a camp just for military kids in Connecticut! Celebrate America and being a military child, over the week of July 4th at this camp. This camp has been around for several years and is part of Operation Purple!
Semper Fi Fund Kids Camps
These camps go beyond the summer by pairing high-school-aged military kids with younger children. They develop the bond during a summer session. Then they continue to connect throughout the school year in a mentor/mentee relationship.
The Semper Fi Fund Kids Camps are designed to help military kids learn coping skills and develop lifelong bonds to support each other. For more information, contact SffKidsCamp@semperfifund.org.
Ask for a Military Discount at Your Local Summer Camps
If your child isn’t attending one of these military child-specific summer camps, there are other options. Reach out to programs where you live and ask about military discounts. Some programs might not advertise their military deals or may offer them on a by-request basis.