Georgia 4-H Hosts Free Summer Camps for Military Family Students

April 2—EATONTON — Dependents of military service members are invited to apply to participate in five different week-long camping experiences, free of charge, coordinated by the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension 4-H program.

These camps, summits and retreats are open to military dependents (currently serving in active, guard and reserve components) ages 8-18. Special camps are also offered to military dependents whose parents have been mentally, emotionally, or physically injured as a result of service. , as well as Gold Star families. Camp fees, including a transportation allowance, are covered by grant funds.

“These experiences provide military dependents with an opportunity to develop leadership and life skills in a high-adventure environment,” said Laura Goss, Georgia 4-H military camp coordinator. “Young people can have fun while connecting with teens to better understand their parents’ military service through focused lessons, social interactions, and military volunteers. Young people gain independence, mastery, and belonging.”

UGA operates two of the summer camps as part of the Military Teen Adventure Camps initiative. This partnership between the Office of Military Community and Family Policy and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture of the U.S. Department of Agriculture is funded by the Department of Defense through an agreement cooperative grant with Purdue University. Additional camps are made possible by the National Military Family Association, Kansas State University and the Army Child and Youth Program.

Georgia 4-H has coordinated military camping opportunities at locations in Georgia, Colorado and Florida since 2010. This year, all camps will be held at Georgia 4-H facilities. Here is a full list of opportunities:

—Joint Extreme Summit: June 20-24

Rock Eagle 4-H Center in Eatonton

Open to all branches of service, ages 14-18

—Outdoor Connection Retreat: June 26-28

Wahsega 4-H Center in Dahlonega

Open to active duty military dependents, ages 12-14

—Outdoor Military Connection Retreat: June 29 – July 1

Wahsega 4-H Center in Dahlonega

Open to all branches of service, ages 14-18

—Operation Purple Camp: July 18-22

Wahsega 4-H Center in Dahlonega

Open to all branches of service, ages 8-13

—Warrior Summit: July 10-15

Fortson 4-H Center in Hampton

Open to dependents of military wounded warriors and Gold Star families, ages 12-14

Camp fees, accommodations, activities and on-site meals are all covered by available grants. Parents and/or guardians are responsible for transportation to camp and expenses for meals in transit and optional on-site purchases. More information will be provided to selected applicants.

Those interested in participating can learn more online at the Georgia 4-H Military Partnership Camp website at Applicants should carefully review the application instructions and deadlines by camp type due to varying requirements.

Participants are supervised during the week by professional staff trained in youth development and camping protocol. Adult volunteers will assist paid camp staff and often include military personnel, spouses and family members. All paid and volunteer staff undergo child protection training and undergo background investigation in accordance with UGA policies.

Military spouses, current military members, and retired military members are all encouraged to apply to serve as volunteers. Volunteers play a major role in these camps by participating in activities, supervising students, chaperoning cabins and helping with workshops and classes.

To apply as an adult volunteer, download an application from the Volunteers page of the GA 4-H Military Webpage. For more information, email [email protected]

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