In conjunction with the Wisconsin National Guard’s annual celebration of the Month of the Military Child, the organization announced the return of its annual Youth Camp in July 2016 after a one-year hiatus.
Volk Field Combat Readiness Training Center in Camp Douglas, Wisconsin, will play host to this year’s camp, which runs July 29-31. Registration for youth camp opens April 15, as does the call for volunteers to work at the camp.
Organizers design youth camp to give kids an exciting weekend of fun and engaging activities focused on individual growth through resilience and team-building skills, but campers also leave having built important relationships with other military kids.
“Youth who attend camp develop friendships with their military-connected peers, some of which they would have never met if it wasn’t for camp,” said Shawna Wyman, the Wisconsin National Guard’s child and youth program coordinator. “Youth camp provides them a fun, safe environment to experience some of what their service member does, while learning important life skills like resilience, leadership and character. The youth leave with a stronger sense of self-worth, patriotism and connection. They also leave with a ton of memories, smiles and hopefully a greater sense of pride after accomplishing the weekend’s activities.”
Campers will participate in a variety of activities aimed at reinforcing core resilience competencies, building confidence, leadership, teambuilding, and goal setting. Children will be broken into three age groups, each with a slightly different focus where they will experience some of the tasks their military parents complete on typical drill weekends on ropes courses, rock walls, confidence courses, and rappelling towers.
April fittingly marks the military’s annual celebration of the Month of the Military Child, which shines a spotlight on the service and sacrifices of military kids. The Wisconsin National Guard is celebrating the Month of the Military Child by opening registration for youth camp and honoring military kids at various events throughout the month. The Wisconsin Department of Military Affairs staff will also wear purple April 22, to show their support and “Purple-Up for Military Kids.”
Military children face unique challenges with a parent, older sibling or other loved one serving in the military. Programs such as youth camp are designed to help those children learn more about their parent’s military career while also giving them tools to build confidence and resilience for when military life presents its challenges.
“They make sacrifices the average child doesn’t have to make,” Wyman said. “Our military youth make such sacrifices out of love and commitment to our Soldiers and Airmen. They stand next to them with unwavering love and commitment to their service and this great nation.
“It is important for us and as a community, to show our support to Wisconsin’s military youth by honoring them during the Month of the Military Child, because they serve this great nation too,” she added.
Military children ages 8-17 are eligible to register for youth camp. Families can register their children for the 2016 Wisconsin National Guard Youth Camp by visiting Wisconsinmilitary.org and filling out the required forms. For more information, contact Shawna Wyman at 1-800-335-5147 ext. 3483 or