Girl doing gymnastics.

Military Youth and Teen Programs

When it comes to keeping kids busy with age-appropriate activities, military youth and teen programs offer something for every child, including organized activities, field trips, computer labs, music stations and workout rooms.

These programs can help military families fill the activity gap during summer break, holidays, and before- and after-school hours. While programs vary by service branch and installation, each offers school-age children and teens safe activities. Wherever you live, you can find military youth programs that suit your family's needs.

Youth centers

Active-duty service members, including activated National Guard and reserve members and Department of Defense civilians may all take advantage of an installation's youth center services. Be prepared for a new experience as each youth center varies. Encourage your child to give the new center a try. It may offer things that your old center did not, such as:

  • Computer labs for games, homework, social media and more
  • Special field trips to the movies, bowling or local attractions
  • Gymnasiums for safety-supervised sports with other children their age
  • Fitness rooms for working out and working off stress
  • Music rooms for recording music
  • Game rooms for playing pool or board games with friends
  • Volunteer and employment listings of that perfect after-school job or volunteer position

Other programs

Your installation's youth center may not be conveniently located near your home or perhaps your active-duty service member is in the National Guard or reserves. In either case, you can still benefit from other military youth and teen programs in your area:

  • 4-H Military Partnerships bring the resources of the Land Grant Universities, including youth development professionals, research-based curricula, and high- quality training and technical assistance, to the youth programs of the military. Military youth can join 4-H clubs in their community, and they can also participate in summer camps around the country. Visit the 4-H Military Partnership website to learn more.
  • Mission Youth Outreach links the military services with the Boys & Girls Clubs of America to help meet the needs of active-duty, National Guard and reserve families who may not live near installation services. Military youth can participate in local Boys & Girls Club programs for free. Check out Mission Youth Outreach for more information.

Engage your children in fun activities where they can connect with the military community. Explore options on and around your installation.