ACA, Keystone Regional Operation Summer Camp

Donate Camperships for Military Children

Help give military kids a summer camp experience with Operation Summer Camp

Military familyWhen one or both military parents are deployed, families are turned upside-down. Logistically, financially, emotionally – the challenges are sudden and dramatic.

Since 2004, an innovative program called Operation Summer Camp (OSC) has helped families meet some of those challenges by sending military kids to camp, tuition free. Coordinated by the American Camp Association (ACA), camps have donated camperships valued in aggregate at more than half a million dollars to send hundreds of boys and girls to camp for sessions of one to ten weeks. The program has so far worked primarily with the PA Air National Guard’s 111th Fighter Wing, but families associated with other troops are welcome to apply for the available camp slots.

Unlike other week-long camp programs exclusively for military children (such as Operation Purple, run by the National Military Family Association), OSC matches a child with a campership at a traditional or specialty day or overnight camp, so the child can experience a typical camp program with non-military kids. One base commander said, “It allowed my daughter to feel like a regular kid. And we never could have sent her to camp without OSC.” A sergeant said, “Before camp, our nine-year old son was afraid to leave his mother’s side. He came home a different kid – now he wants to go back to camp and someday be a counselor. He’s not shy anymore. Camp changed his life.”

OSC relies on the generous donations of camps to make this program possible. Camps may donate one or more summer camp sessions of any length, for any gender or age. Have some extra space in a bunk?

Help a military child experience the gift of camp.

Last year, we had 10 day camps and six overnight camps that donated over 81 weeks of camp.  Thirty-six military children attended camp. For those who have donated in the past, we are grateful for your involvement and hope you will join us again this summer.

Simply take a minute to complete the Operation Summer Camp Participation online form

We regret that for a variety of reasons, such as geography, transportation, family schedules, or parental inexperience with camp, some donated slots go unfilled each year. We do try very hard to match children from the 111th Fighter Wing or other troops with each slot, but please understand that some decisions are beyond our control. Every campership donation is greatly appreciated, and we’ll do our best to fill it!

Thanks in advance for considering a campership donation for summer 2020. Please try to make your donation before March 2, so that we can help military families make summer plans. Donations will be accepted at any time, but as we meet with 111th Wing families in early April, donations made before March 2 will be very helpful.

Fill out the Operation Summer Camp Donation Form.  If you have questions, please contact Barbara Dohner at or 941-405-4269. Thank you!