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Georgia 4-H hosts free summer camps for youth in military families

Georgia 4-H partners with military families across the country to provide no-cost access to resources and camps that will enrich the lives of military dependents.

Dependents of military service members are invited to apply to attend five different weeklong camping experiences at no cost, coordinated by University of Georgia Cooperative Extension’s 4-H program.

These camps, summits and retreats are open to dependents of military members (currently serving in active, guard and reserve components) ages 8 to 18. Special camps are also being offered for Army dependents whose parents were mentally, emotionally or physically wounded due to service, along with Gold Star families. Camp fees, including a transportation stipend, are covered through grant funds. 

“These experiences offer military dependents an opportunity to build leadership and life skills in a high-adventure environment,” said Laura GossGeorgia 4-H Military Camp coordinator.  “Youths can have fun while connecting with teens to better understand their parents’ military service through targeted lessons, social interactions and service-member volunteers. Youth gain independence, mastery and belonging.”

UGA operates two of the summer camps through the Military Teen Adventure Camps initiative. This partnership between the Office of Military Community and Family Policy and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture is funded by the Department of Defense through a cooperative grant agreement 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 occur at Georgia 4-H facilities. The following is a full list of opportunities:

Joint Extreme Summit: June 20-24
Rock Eagle 4-H Center in Eatonton, Georgia
Open to all service branches
Ages 14-18

Outdoor Connection Retreat: June 26-28
Wahsega 4-H Center in Dahlonega, Georgia
Open to Army active-duty dependents
Ages 12-14

Outdoor Military Connection Retreat: June 29- July1
Wahsega 4-H Center in Dahlonega, Georgia
Open to all service branches
Ages 14-18

Operation Purple Camp: July 18-22, 2022
Wahsega 4-H Center in Dahlonega, Georgia
Open to all service branches
Ages 8-13

Warrior Summit: July 10-15
Fortson 4-H Center in Hampton, Georgia
Open to Army Wounded Warrior dependents and Gold Star families
Ages 12-14

Camp fees, lodging, activities and on-site meals are all covered through the available grants. Parents and/or guardians are responsible for transportation to camp and expenses for in-transit meals and on-site optional 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 georgia4h.org/militarycamps. Applicants should carefully review the application instructions and deadlines per camp type due to varying requirements.

Youth are supervised during the week by professional staff who are trained in youth development and camping protocol. Adult volunteers will aid paid camp staff and often include service members, spouses and family members. All paid and volunteer staff complete youth protections training and undergo a 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 at these camps as they participate in activities, supervise youth, chaperone cabins, and assist with workshops and classes.

To apply to be an adult volunteer, download an application from the GA 4-H Military Webpage volunteer page. For more information, email milcamps@uga.edu.

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