So last year I had the opportunity to attend two Operation Purple Summer camps in NC, one in Hendersonville (way past Charlotte, in the Mountains) and one in Halifax NC (close to the VA border). Both camps were totally different experiences but we all had a WONDERFUL TIME! On the days I attended both were a salute to the military. It was so amazing to see these children having a great time getting their minds off their parents deployments just being kids. They also had the military one source counselors there and helped the children if they need to talk. They were from all different branches too, not just one. Some kids had attended the previous year so they were excited to see their friends.
In Hendersonville Camp Tekoa, it was hidden away in the mountains, it was a traditional camp with cabins, full of nature, green trees, a zip line, a river. Almost pristine I loved it there the kids were from all over the eastern seaboard as far away as VA, TN, and FL. The camp director had the schedule packed full of exciting trips, white water rafting, making a living circle, cooking, horse back riding anything you think of they did it!
In Halifax it was a 4H camp site it was a little different but it was still fun. The camp was in a old historic school building, they had day trips planned every day of the week. The day I was there was Military Day, they had static displays of military vehicles, a helicopter landing, big trucks the Army Corp of Engineers, and the children were still from all over NC, SC and VA. They all got along so well together. Still I had lunch with them, a lunch the older teen kids made (sloppy joes) it was great!
When you hear “Operation Purple camp” you should think: Kids Serve Too! The National Military Family Association’s Operation Purple camps are a time for having fun, making friends, and reminding military kids that they are the Nation’s youngest heroes.
The Operation Purple program was created in 2004 to fill a need identified by military parents to “help us help our kids.” The mission of the Operation Purple program is to empower military children and their families to develop and maintain healthy and connected relationships, in spite of the current military environment. We do this through a variety of means, including the healing and holistic aspect of the natural world. The program is joint or “purple”—encompassing all Service branches, including the National Guard and Reserve.
In the 2004 Operation Purple pilot season, the National Military Family Association was able to implement 12 different Operation Purple camps serving close to 1,000 children. Since then the Operation Purple program has grown and expanded and by summer’s end close to 40,000 military children and teens will have been served. The Operation Purple program also includes camps for teens, family retreats at the national parks, and camps geared to address the needs of children and families of our nations wounded service members.
Donations for Operation Purple camps are now supporting our 2011 camps. Please direct donation questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.