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Summer is not far away, it is a good time to start looking into activities for your kids. For military kids, camp may be just what they need, an opportunity to have fun and learn or develop new skills. Many of the camps are geared for children with a parent currently in the deployment cycle. The kids are able to grow in their independence, and also give parents a time to re-energize.


Here are 9 military kid summer camp options to check out. They offer some peace of mind for parents as they are all budget friendly, free for eligible military kids!


Our Military Kids 

Open to kids of National Guard and Reservists who have a deployed parent overseas, as well as Wounded Warriors. These grants go towards paying for sports programs, camps, fine arts and tutoring services, whatever parents select.


A Backpack Journalist

A special camp designed to helping youth find their voice through narrative writing, reporting and broadcast, songwriting, filmmaking, poetry and digital storytelling. This camp is for kids between the ages of 12-18.


Air Force Reserve/Air National Guard Teen Leadership Summits

This camp is a week-long camp for 14-18 year old teens of current Air Force Reserve or Air National Guard military members. Teens focus on leadership development and self-confidence as well as learn about programs and services available to AF dependents.


Armed Services YMCA – Operation Outdoors

Operation Outdoors is a National ASYMCA program that helps military kids receive scholarships for summer camp.


Army National Guard Families

The National Guard has various programs available through the State Child & Youth Program. Contact a Child & Youth Program Coordinator (or the State Family Program Director) near you to check out the program offerings and activities they can participate in.


Army Reserve Family Programs Camps for Youth

Camps are open to military kids no matter what branch. A parent must be in any phase of the deployment cycle and priority is given to kids from geographically dispersed families. Please be sure to reach out directly to your local unit to obtain camp information.


Department of Defense Summer Camp Experiences

The DoD provides summer camp opportunities for kids, giving them a chance to have fun, meet new people, and develop skills.


Operation Purple Camp

Operation Purple Camp offers a free week of summer fun for military kids with parents who have been, are currently, or will be deployed. Operation Purple Camp is open to military kids of all ranks and services, active and reserve components—and gives priority to kids whose parents are in a deployment phase.


Camp Corral

This is a one-week camp for military kids ages 8 to 15. Although it is open to all military kids, priority is given to kids of wounded, disabled or fallen service members. The week is filled with fun outdoor activities like canoeing, swimming, fishing, arts and crafts and much more.

Don’t forget that your local military installation also offers various youth programs, summer programs and camps. Be sure to reach out directly to them as spots do fill up quickly.


Have you sent your military kid to summer camp? Share with us in the comments below.


Related Posts:

Summer Fun on a Dime for Military Families

5 Summer Safety Reminders for Parents

Fun Ways to Help Kids Countdown Deployment


About the blogger: Angela Caban is an Army National Guard spouse, published author and branding expert. In 2010, she founded the Homefront United Network, a military spouse and family support blog created to assist spouses who do not live near an installation, but also focusing on bridging the gap between National Guard, Reserve and Active Duty spouses. She has an extensive background in Human Resources and Communications, with her Bachelor’s in Business Administration and a Master’s in Human Resources. Angela resides in the beautiful Garden State of New Jersey with her husband and two children.