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Military and Family Life Counselors at Youth Camps5 minute read • July 18, 2023
The Defense Department and Military OneSource recognize the unique challenges that military children, youth and teens face with frequent transitions, moves, family separations, stressors related to worrying about a deployed parent, and the issues of living far away from extended family and friends that are magnified in the wake of the global pandemic. These challenges create opportunities for children, youth and teens to learn flexibility, adaptability and resiliency through their life in a military family, but they may not understand how to apply those strengths to their current life situation. That’s where child and youth behavioral military and family life counselors and personal financial counselors can help.
Child and youth camps create safe, fun, engaging and developmentally appropriate environments where military-connected children, youth and teens can learn and grow.
Find camps and activities
Installation youth centers can connect families to camps and activities for their military-connected children, youth and teens.
Trained child and youth behavioral military and family life counselors and personal financial counselors are available to support child and youth camps. Service providers and camp organizers can request military and family life counselors to attend their camps. This expanded support for our military-connected children, youth and teens — and their parents — can assist families in staying on track as they handle MilLife challenges.
Military and family life counselors can:
- Help children, youth and teens process their feelings
- Engage in activities and field trips with children and youth
- Model techniques for behavior management including feedback for staff
- Provide additional resource support for child and youth programs staff
- Conduct training sessions for camp staff and parents, such as Age-Appropriate Practices — Challenging Behaviors and other topics
- Deliver additional approved briefings, training and presentations for staff and parents
- Assist specific families with their unique parenting questions, child behavior issues and other challenges
Strength in numbers
Showing military-connected children, youth and teens they are not alone is empowering. Child and youth camps are a great way for military children to draw strength from shared experiences while building family readiness — which leads to mission readiness for service members. Camp themes cover everything from sports, the arts, adventure, deployment and even bereavement. Service providers can help families by sharing the variety of camps and adventures available to military youth.
Some of the camps available to military children, youth and teens include but are not limited to:
- National Military Family Association Operation Purple® Camp
- Military Teen Adventure Camps
- National Guard and reserve camps
- School-Age Centers camps
- Youth Programs camps and activities offered through installation youth centers
- Armed Services YMCA camps
- 4-H Military Partnership camps
Enhance your service members’ mission readiness by supporting their families. Service providers and camp organizers can request that child and youth behavioral military and family life counselors or personal financial counselors provide counseling support at child and youth camps. The program office accepts camp requests for counseling support year-round, and each camp requires a separate request submission.
Request a counselor for a child and youth camp.
Trained child and youth behavioral military and family life counselors can provide added support for military-connected children, youth and teens. Submit a request for child and youth behavioral military and family life counselor or personal financial counselor support for your installation’s youth camp.
Steps to request a counselor:
- Visit the Resource Request System.
- Click on Submit Request; select Camps Support.
- Complete required information, including:
- Camp type, date and branch
- Special requirements for counselors
- Attendees and locations of the camp
- Point of contact
- Submit camp counselor requests at least 15 business days prior to the camp start date to provide sufficient time for the vendors to staff counselor assignments. Be sure your request(s) include the following:
- Do not specify the number of counselors on the request. The program office will determine the appropriate number for the camp. (The typical ratio is one counselor to 100 children.)
- Indicate the number of hours the counselor will work each day so the program office may approve the appropriate number of resources. (Counselors work a 40-hour, flexible workweek.)
- Specify the types of activities the counselor(s) will be involved in. For example, if you are operating an outdoor adventure camp and require counselors to participate in all activities, this information is helpful in ensuring those assigned are physically capable.
- Submit a separate camp counselor request for personal financial counselors. They may support short-term camps for one day.
For additional questions, be sure to review Camp Resource Request at a Glance in the Resource Request System.
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