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Recreation – Resources

Get energized about all the recreational resources available to service members and their families. Check out the many available programs, which are designed to provide relaxation, entertainment and fun.

Morale, Welfare and Recreation Program

Your installation’s Morale, Welfare and Recreation Program should be your first step in planning leisure and recreation. MWR facilities have numerous resources and amenities, including:

  • Outdoor recreation: Is your connection to great programs, information and cool rental gear. Reconnect with the great outdoors, visit your outdoor recreation program today!
  • Camping and glamping in every state: Search for the campgrounds that suit your needs whether they be near you or in the state you want to visit via the Best Kept Secrets guide. Rental options include campsites, yurts, hotels, cabins, RVs or pop-up camper pads.
  • Bowling facilities: Join a league, or just rent a lane for a few games.
  • Golf courses: Play golf on some of the nicest courses you’ll find. If you’re a beginner, book a lesson with the pro.
  • Recreation centers: Enjoy a game of pickup table tennis or big screen entertainment.
  • Trails: Hike, bike or walk and take in the great outdoors.
  • Craft and hobby shops: Rent stall space and work on your car at an auto skills center. Look for classes in woodworking, ceramics, painting and more offered through craft and hobby programs that may be stand-alone facilities or located at recreation centers and libraries.
  • Libraries — onsite and digital: Visit your library to see the vast selection of books, magazines, DVDs and audiobooks available. Access the latest online resources, databases and tools for financial information, school research, tutoring and more via the MWR Digital Library.
  • Swimming pools: Enjoy some recreational swimming, take lessons or try an aquatic fitness class.
  • Movie theaters: Catch Hollywood’s newest releases.
  • Information, Tickets and Travel: Check out the local sights, attractions and amusements through this office, which offers trip-planning assistance, information on popular travel destinations, savings on lodging and entertainment, and more. The online version of ITT is American Forces TravelSM, where you can purchase discounted flight tickets, book hotel rooms, take a cruise, rent cars and purchase low-price vacation packages.

Learn about your service’s offerings by visiting the following sites:

Youth center services, programs and activities are designed to help youth explore interests, build skills and experience success. Youth centers involve the following programs.

Leadership and service programs help youth build leadership with self, others and within the community.

  • Teens should check out the Military Youth of the Year program with an opportunity to compete at the installation, state, regional and national level. Each level winners earn scholarship funding.
  • The Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s Character and Leadership programscan help kids become responsible and caring citizens, acquire skills to participate in the democratic process and develop leadership skills. The programs include the Million Members, Million Hours of Service program and the Keystone Clubs.

Education and science, technology, engineering and math programs complement and reinforce what youth learn during the school day while creating experiences that drive interest and build a capacity for success in these disciplines.

  • These programs also provide children with support in developing a plan for the future, academic success, preparation for a post-secondary education and career development.
  • The Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s Education programs help kids develop goals for the future by providing career exploration and educational opportunities. These programs include Summer Brain Gain: READ! and the MyFuture digital programming.

Health and wellness programs provide opportunities for youth to enhance relationships with themselves and others, regulate emotions and solve problems by developing social-emotional skills.

The arts programs, which include digital, fine, applied and performing, encourage imagination and self-expression. These help youth develop knowledge and understanding of specific art forms.

Sports and recreation programs help youth develop physical fitness, reduce stress and experience healthy physical development.

  • Youth sports programs are organized and offered in a variety of settings including, but not limited to, leagues, camps, clinics or instructional formats.
  • All activities are supervised and are based on age, developmental stage and physical ability.

Eligibility and amenities

Youth with DOD IDs can take advantage of their installation’s youth center services. Most facilities offer:

  • Computer labs for games, homework, social media and more
  • Special field trips to see movies, go bowling or take in local attractions
  • Gymnasiums for safety-supervised sports with like-aged children
  • Fitness rooms for working out and burning stress
  • Rooms for recording music
  • Game rooms for playing pool or board games with friends
  • Volunteer listings to involve youth in community service
  • Youth recognition for participation, achievements and positive activities within the installation and community throughout the year
  • Youth employment listings for that perfect summer, seasonal or after-school job

Adult volunteers are needed to support youth programs, services and activities. Stop by the youth center and inquire.

The Department of Defense offers a variety of fun camps for children of all ages that could be a great addition to your child’s summer lineup:

  • 4-H Military Partnership camps: These camps are for military-connected youth and are hosted by specific land-grant universities in different states.
  • Deployment camps: Children of deployed service members can build a support network made up of other military youth who may be having similar experiences and learn skills to help them manage their ups and downs.
  • Installation camps: Camping fun may be just around the corner. To find a camp or summer activity on your installation, visit MilitaryINSTALLATIONS.
  • Science camps: DOD STARBASE is a science, technology, engineering and math program where students are challenged with “hands-on, minds-on” activities. Students get to explore careers, work with military personnel and observe real-world STEM applications.
  • Teen adventure camps: Teens ages 14 to 18 can enjoy adventure camps that partner with universities across the country. These camps can include wilderness excursions involving activities such as sailing, kayaking.
  • Operation Purple® Camp from the National Military Family Association brings together youth from all services and offers a family retreat that gives military families a chance to reconnect and bond.

Military services partner with the Boys & Girls Clubs of America to provide access to youth centers and clubs around the country.

A typical club has an arts and crafts area, gymnasium, library, game room and multipurpose room. Some clubs also have swimming pools, computer learning centers, camps and outdoor play areas. Whether you live on or off an installation, youth between the ages of 6 and 18 can participate in Boys & Girls Clubs programs:

  • Mission: Youth Outreach provides military youth no-cost membership in clubs that offer a wide variety of recreational and educational programs. Perfect for families living off base and not near a youth center.
  • Health and wellness programs help kids achieve and maintain active lifestyles. Programs such as SMART Moves and Passport to Manhood help develop responsibility and healthy relationships.
  • The arts programs help kids enhance self-expression and creativity and develop skills in visual, performing and literary arts. They can also promote multicultural appreciation.
  • Sports and recreation programs help with fitness, interpersonal skills, the positive use of leisure time, stress reduction and appreciation for the environment. Kids enjoy golf, baseball and other general programs.

4-H Military Partnership provides military youth the opportunity to join 4-H clubs in their community. 4-H clubs offer resources in science, technology, engineering and math, as well as valuable life skills in healthy living, citizenship, public speaking and other military core program areas.

If you’re a single, junior enlisted member, you’re in luck. There is always something going on for singles. Some installations offer exclusive recreation centers, and most offer events, activities and trips. Check out the following programs:

MWR Digital Library
Take advantage of the many databases and resources available to military families for free through the DOD MWR Libraries. It has something to offer every member of your family.

DOD and MWR Libraries Summer Reading Program
Students who keep reading during the summer score higher on achievement tests than those who don’t. Inspire literacy and lifelong learning by enrolling your kids in the DOD MWR Libraries Summer Reading Program. Contact the program at 877-565-1896.

Take advantage of the many fitness resources available to service members and their families on military installations:

  • 24-Hour Fitness gives those who are unable to use standard facilities a place to work out. These fitness areas have limited equipment, but are open 24/7 with the use of a common access card.
  • Fitness On Request provides a wide array of fitness class options and the chance to exercise in a group setting.
  • Bike Share locates specially marked bicycles in convenient locations around installations for service members and personnel to use for transportation or recreation.
  • StairWELL to Health offers information and opportunities for incorporating physical activity into daily routines.
  • High Intensity Tactical Training and Aquatic Maximum Power Intensive Training can improve combat readiness, while reducing the likelihood of injury through physical fitness training and nutritional guidelines.
  • Adult Sports Program is an intramural program that provides fun, team-oriented recreational fitness opportunities to help keep service members in shape.

Installation Program Directory

Find programs and services at your local installation.