CAMP CORRAL – “The Week of a Lifetime”
Since October 2001, the world in which American military children grow up has been changed dramatically by unprecedented levels of deployment and the increased reliance on Reserve and Guard members. To date, a total of over 2.1 million American men and women in uniform have deployed and of those Service members, approximately 44 percent are parents.
A few years ago, Golden Corral founder James Maynard began working with his team to explore ways that they could “serve those who have served us” and provide something meaningful to give back to military families. Golden Corral has a long history of honoring the military and veterans organizations, so supporting the children of military service members was a natural extension of what they were already doing. The idea of sending these children to camp as a way to thank their families and offer their kids a life-changing week away from home became a reality in 2011, when Camp Corral opened as a pilot, one-camp program in Ellerbe, North Carolina.
Camp Corral, a 501 (c) (3) tax-exempt, non-profit corporation, is a free, one-of-a-kind summer camp for children of wounded, disabled or fallen military service members. Since its founding, Camp Corral has grown to 18 camps in 14 states, and served over 2,200 children this past summer of 2013. Camp Corral will continue its commitment to expanding its reach by hosting 20 camps in 16 states this upcoming summer of 2014. Although any child from a military family is eligible, registration priority is given to children of wounded, disabled or fallen military service members.
The vision behind Camp Corral is one where kids, ages 8 to 15, are free to be kids, far away from the day-to-day challenges they face as children of military service members. The reality of a parent being deployed away from home for over a year is the norm for all children from military families. And for 75 percent of Camp Corral's campers, a parent coming back injured, disabled or never coming back is their reality.
Providing positive, recreational experiences in the outdoors helps foster resilience, and Camp Corral has proven to be a ‘week of a lifetime,’ providing kids non-stop fun with activities like canoeing, swimming, fishing, arts and crafts, ropes course challenge, archery, horseback riding and other camp and outdoors activities. The week also encourages the campers to create friendships and bond with other kids who share similar family situations.
Camp Corral, headquartered in Raleigh, NC works closely with 4-H and YMCA camps, both highly respected for their total youth-development programs. Camp Corral is committed to increasing the number of children served by expanding our reach in communities around the country through meaningful camp experiences, always free of charge.
Learn more about Camp Corral and how you can make a difference in a deserving child’s life with a gift in any amount by visiting www.campcorral.org  today!