When one or both parents are deployed, families are turned upside-down. Logistically, financially, emotionally – the challenges are sudden and dramatic.
Since 2003, ACA Keystone has coordinated an innovative program called Operation Summer Camp (OSC) that has helped families meet some of those challenges by sending about 150 military kids to camp, tuition free.
ACA member camps in PA and DE have donated camperships worth more than $500,000 to children of deployed guardsmen in the PA Air National Guard's 111th Fighter Wing, based in Willow Grove, PA, but serving families statewide. Children affiliated with the 171st Air Refueling Wing in western Pennsylvania are hoping camps will offer camperships for them in 2011, as well.
Unlike other week-long camp programs exclusively for military children, OSC allows the Wing's Family Readiness Coordinator to match a child with a campership for one to seven weeks, so the child can experience a traditional camp program with non-military kids. One parent said, "It allowed my daughter to feel like a regular kid. And we never could have sent her to camp without OSC."
If your camp can donate one or more campership slots this summer – from one week to a full summer, or anything in between – please DOWNLOAD THE DONATION FORM  and follow the instructions on the form for completing and returning it to Ellen Warren for ACA Keystone. Questions? Call Ellen Warren at 215-886-1666 or email email@example.com .