Camps and Operation Purple for Military Families

How your camp can support the children of America's military families

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As funding has been cut to support the children of military families, the opportunities for your camp to support those children through the National Military Family Association's Operation Purple® has been expanded. The Operation Purple program provides camps with unique opportunities to support military families from their own communities. Your camp can consider the following options:

Operation Purple — Camp Session

The mission of the Operation Purple program is to empower military children and their families to develop and maintain healthy and connected relationships, in spite of the current military environment. The program is joint or "purple" — and open to children and families of active duty, National Guard, or Reserve service members from the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, or the Commissioned Corps of the U.S. Public Health Service and NOAA. 

Camps participate by applying to host an offical Operation Purple camp session open exclusively to the children of military families. Camps agree to implement an Operation Purple curriculum and adhere to Operation Purple guidelines. Camps are asked to minimize camp costs by combining or selecting one of three funding options: (1) donation of camper spaces, (2) participation in a shared funding approach (between the camp and Operation Purple), and (3) offering a reduced camper rate.

Learn more about hosting an Operation Purple camp.

Operation Purple is important to Florida Sheriffs Caruth Camp because it provides us with the opportunity to serve our nation through the camp experience for our nation’s heroes — the service men and women and their children. Additionally, Operation Purple helps us to achieve our organization’s vision: Young men and women who, because of the Florida Sheriffs Youth Ranches, are able to face the future with a sense of direction, ability, and hope and mission. — Cori Welbes, Florida Sheriffs Youth Ranches

Operation Purple — Camp Track Incorporated into Your Camp's Current Program

Operation Purple can also be conducted at your camp at the same time as your traditional camp program. The National Military Family Association assists each camp with accurately integrating Operation Purple as a track alongside their regular programming. "Tracking" Operation Purple progamming ensures that camps are able to meet the needs of military children while allowing plenty of opportunities for interaction between between Operation Purple participants and your other campers.

Learn more about hosting an Operation Purple track.

Operation Purple camp is a great way to serve military kids across the country. We are proud to host the program. There are many military families in middle Tennessee from Fort Campbell and also the families involved in National Guard and Reserves. Through the Operation Purple Program, we are able to serve many more campers each season with the funding provided by NMFA. This program helps camp to reach enrollment goals, which is a win-win for camps and military families. — Laura Johnson, YMCA Camp Widjiwagan

Operation Purple — Family Retreats

Camps can support military families by serving as hosts sites for family retreats. Operation Purple Family Retreats are typically three- to four-day programs designed to help families reconnect following the deployment of a service member parent. Operation Purple Family Retreats focus on outdoor activities and education to include structured activities developed by the FOCUS Program (Families OverComing Under Stress®). These activities highlight areas of strength and resilience in the family and promote family growth. Families are supported in working together to enhance their relationships through communication activities aimed at building connections and family closeness.

Learn more about hosting a Family Retreat.

Donate to the Operation Purple Program

If hosting an Operation Purple camp, track, or Family Retreat is not right for your camp, you can still participate by dontating funds to send military children and families to Operation Purple programs being held at other locations.

Learn more about donating to Operation Purple.

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