Free or Reduced Cost Summer Camps

There are many groups that are trying to make things easier for military families.   As a result, there are lots of opportunities for military kids to go to summer camps for free or low costs.  There used to be a great online list of all the opportunities, but I can’t find it.  I will try to put together a new list here.  Please notice that many programs have not yet published their 2014 schedules yet.  In addition, funding is tight and some programs may not run this year, or they may have more limited offerings.

Operation Purple Camp

This  free camp for youth ages 7-17  is organized by the National Military Family Association (NMFA).  In past years, there have been locations across the country and even overseas.  Priority is given to children with a parent in the deployment cycle.  Plans have not yet been announced for 2014.


Military Teen Adventure Camp

Open to teens aged 14-18, the Military Teen Adventure Camps offer amazing summer camps with scholarships that include assistance with transportation costs.  Previous years offerings included white water rafting, extreme rock climbing, and horseback riding.  The organizers are finalizing their 2014 program calendar.

Tiger Woods Learning Center

The Tiger Woods Learning Center is located in southern California, and offers both Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) camps and golf camps.  Military children may receive a full scholarship for the six-day camp, but transportation costs are not covered.

Space Camp

The Military Child Education Coalition administers the Bernard Curtis Brown II scholarships for military children to attend Space Camp in Huntsville, Alabama.  This scholarship covers all costs including transportation, and is open to students in grades 6 through 9.

Camp Corral

Organized by Golden Corral restaurants, Camp Corral is open to children aged 8 to 15.  There are camps at various locations around the country.  Camp is free for selected children.  Transportation costs are not covered.  The 2014 calendar has not yet been announced, but last year registration opened on 1 February.

I will keep this document updated, so check back regularly to see if more programs have announced their 2014 plans.





About the Author

Kate Horrell
Kate Horrell is a military financial coach, mom of four teens, and Navy spouse. She has a background in taxes and mortgage banking, and a trove of experience helping other military families with their money. Follow her on twitter @realKateHorrell.
  • Camp Birch Hill in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire offers discounts to military families! Contact the office for more information!

  • Molly

    Our daughter went to Camp Corral last summer for the first time. She had the best week, meeting new friends, trying new activities, and she didn’t want to leave! They don’t cover travel, but all parents did receive a Visa card with money on it to help with the cost of your travel, plus a gift card for meals at Golden Corral. We will definitely be signing her up again this summer!

  • Hannah

    Camp Corral Registration is now Open! Check out their new website

  • angela

    I attended camps for as long as i can remember as a child. I had the best summers ever! My children have been able to attend camps because of special programs like operation purple, and have loved every one of them.