During the school year, it's easy to fill your children's schedules with activities but the summer can be more challenging. If your children are looking for something exciting to do, the Department of Defense is here to help. Each year, the DoD provides summer camp opportunities for your children, giving them a chance to have fun, meet new people and develop skills that will benefit them for years to come.
Teen adventure camps
The DoD's Office of Family Policy partners with several universities to offer adventure camps for military teens aged 14 to 18. Through partnering with these universities, DoD is able to use the expertise of university faculty and staff and offer amazing camp experiences.
With more than 30 camps across the country, there truly is something for everyone. Past opportunities for your teens have included:
- Sailing around Washington State's Puget Sound
- Kayaking through the Florida Keys
- Wilderness survival camp in Montana's backcountry
- Caving, rappelling and rock climbing expeditions in Kentucky
These camps are not limited to the summer either. If your teens already have their summer booked, there are opportunities to participate in winter-themed camps, as well.
Through this program, the DoD also offers camps designed specifically for military youth and teens with special needs. These camps are focused on providing a safe and fun environment that takes into account the specific needs of participants. Depending on the format of these camps, age requirements for participants may vary.
2014 camps are posted on the Military Teen Adventure Camps website.
Deployment Support Camps
For several years now, the DoD has supported military children and youth going through the military family deployment cycle with camp opportunities across the country. These camps support all military youth, regardless of service branch, whose parents are deployed, deploying or have recently returned from deployment. Camps are offered across the country and vary in their design and activities. Each camp is developed with the idea of providing participants with the necessary skills to navigate the deployment cycle. While fun is the most important aspect of these camps, another key aspect is bringing military youth together who may have had similar experiences and are able to share how they have dealt with these challenges. To learn more, visit the 4-H Military Partnerships website.
Your local installation
In addition, you can contact your installation youth programs to see what other unique summer activities are available for youth in their immediate area. Contact information for youth programs is available through MilitaryINSTALLATIONS. In the "Looking for a specific program or service?" box, select "Youth Programs/Centers" from the dropdown menu.
Take advantage of the opportunities the military and its partners offer to enhance the lives of your military children.