Applications for the National Military Family Association (NMFA) Operation Purple Camps are still open! The website still says 11 March 2016, but I have been assured that applications are being accepted “for a few more days.” (I’m sorry I don’t have more specific information than that.) If you have a military child, check to see if there is an Operation Purple Camp that would fit your family, and apply soon.
What Are Operation Purple Camps?
Operation Purple Camps are special sessions of regular summer camp, designed especially for military children. In addition to spending the week with other military kids, there are military-themed activities. My children attended Operation Purple Camp the year my husband was deployed and they were visited by helicopters and ate MREs for one meal of the week. Operation Purple Camps are free of cost for the camp; you are required to provide transportation to and from the camp location and there is a refundable deposit required to hold your camper’s spot at camp.
Camps are located at various locations throughout the US, see the complete list for more details.
Who Is Eligible To Attend Operation Purple Camps?
Operation Purple camps are open to all military children, with priority to two groups:
- Children with a deployed parent, or who are within a 15-month deployment “window,” (see NMFA website for more details)
- Children with a parent who incurred service-connected injuries or illness since 9/11.
Once slots are filled with children from these two groups, then the remain slots will be allocated to military children who do not fall into these two groups. Children may attend Operation Purple Camp more than once, but priority is given to those within the deployment cycle or to first-time campers.
How Do You Apply To Operation Purple Camp?
Applications are taken via the NMFA website: http://www.militaryfamily.org/kids-operation-purple/camps/
My family was blessed to be selected for Operation Purple Camps the last time my husband was deployed. After seven months of solo-parenting, it was blissful to have five whole days to myself, and my children benefitted from all aspects of the experience. I can’t say enough fabulous things about it.