Frequently Asked Questions

Boy climbing on rock wall

What is Operation Purple Camp

Operation Purple camps offer a free week of summer fun and are open to military - connected children from all service branches including National Guard and Reserve, Coast Guard, National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration, and the United States Public Health Services Commission Corps; however, priority is given to those children who have a parent that has been wounded, ill or injured (medically retired, medically discharged, active duty and reserve); or will have a parent or guardian deployed during a 15-month deployment “window” (September 2016 - December 2017 includes pre-, during and post deployment phases). If all spaces are not filled with campers who meet the criteria, the remaining camp slots are filled with any eligible military children.

4 girls by Humvee

Can I apply to an Operation Purple camp outside of my state?

We request that you apply to the closest Operation Purple camp that fits your child's age range. However, the National Military Family Association recognizes that military families frequently PCS and/or visit family during the summer months. Under these circumstances or if there is not a camp in your state that meets your needs you may apply to an Operation Purple camp located outside of your state. The cost for travel expenses and transportation to and from camp is covered by the family applying. Once the child(ren) arrive at camp, Operation Purple camp will take care of lodging, meals, and activities.

Can my child apply for, or attend, more than one Operation Purple camp per summer?

A child, under no circumstances, is permitted to attend more than one Operation Purple Camp per summer. This ensures the most children possible are able to go to camp each summer. If it is determined a child attended more than one camp, the child will become ineligible for future Operation Purple camps.  Only one application per child is permitted. If more than one application is submitted, the National Military Family Association reserves the right to select one camp for the child and remove all other applications for that individual.

How do I complete the application if I have more than one child that would like to attend camp?

While completing the online application, parents will be asked how many children they plan to register. Once they have completed the first application they will be given the option to register additional children. Pertinent contact information will be transferred from the first application to subsequent applications.

How do I know that my application has been successfully processed?

Upon completion of the online application applicants should see a message that states "You have successfully completed the application. Thank you for applying." In addition to this confirmation screen, you will receive two confirmation emails to the email address you provided.

Is there an Operation Purple camp for children with special needs?

Upon acceptance, all camp families will be asked to complete an Operation Purple Special Needs Assessment Form. The National Military Family Association's Operation Purple Program does not discriminate against children with special needs, but requests this information in order to provide a safe and enjoyable experience for campers. Please note that some camps' terrain or activity levels may make it difficult to accommodate children with certain special needs. We encourage parents to work with camps prior to the start of the Operation Purple session to determine safety and medical accommodations.

My child attended Operation Purple camp in the past; can I apply again this year?

There is no limit to the number of years a child can attend; however, first priority in selection of attendees is given to those children who have never attended an Operation Purple camp before AND who have a parent who was wounded, ill or injured during service or been deployed within the 15-month deployment “window” (September 2016 - December 2017 includes pre-, during and post deployment phases).

My child is a military child. Is he/she guaranteed a spot at Operation Purple camp?

Unfortunately, all applicants are not guaranteed a spot at camp. First preference is given to military children who have a parent that was wounded, ill or injured during service or have been deployed within the 15-month deployment "window" (September 2016 - December 2017 includes pre-, during and post-deployment phases). 

My child is just outside of the age range of the Operation Purple camp I want him/her to attend. Can I still apply?

Operation Purple camps request to serve certain age ranges based on the activities and events at their camp. In certain situations, camps may make the decision to accept a child close in age range, but these are done on a case by case basis. Parents should contact the camp they would like their child to attend directly to determine whether this is a possibility.  

The online registration system is showing a wait time. What can I do?

Due to high volumes of people registering for Operation Purple camps, there will be times during the day when the online registration may show long wait times. If this occurs, applicants will need to attempt to log in at another time.

Boy camper petting dog

Are Operation Purple campers picked on a first come first serve basis?

The camps handle the selection process based on priority being given to those children who have a parent that has been wounded, ill or injured (medically retired, medically discharged, active duty and reserve); or will have a parent or guardian deployed during a 15-month deployment “window” (September 2016 - December 2017 includes pre-, during and post deployment phases). Camps also base selections on previous attendance to Operation Purple camp and age of children (because of cabin availability, etc.). This ensures that camper slots are evenly distributed in order to serve the widest variety of children possible. 

When will I know if my camper was accepted to camp?

All camp applicants will begin receiving emails regarding their application status beginning the first week of May. Selected campers will then be required to fill out specific host camp registration forms before their acceptance is considered complete. Forms not turned in to the camp by the required date could lead to the loss of your child’s camp slot. 

If my child is accepted to camp, where do I send my completed Operation Purple camp registration forms?

With the exception of the online application (submitted electronically), once a camper has been accepted to camp, all registration forms must be mailed directly to the camp where the child has been accepted.

Friends at camp

What is a "Hold My Spot" Deposit?

When a child is selected to attend an Operation Purple camp session in 2017 they will be required to submit a "Hold My Spot" Deposit of $25 per child (max of $50 per family) with the completed camp registration packet, payable by check or money order (made out to the National Military Family Association).

Checks and money orders are to be mailed to the camp with the completed registration packet NOT to the National Military Family Association. Checks and money orders can be donated to the National Military Family Association to help another child be able to attend OPC in 2018. $25 is the minimum amount for a spot to be held, however, if there are families who would like to donate more than $25, their generous donations will help more children attend camp.

Checks will not be cashed, but held until the child arrives at camp or if the parent cancels the child’s attendance at least 3 weeks prior to the start of camp. Upon cancellation, Hold My Spot fee checks will be returned to the parent or designee. Cancellations can be made by email to the following address: opc@militaryfamily.org. If a parent fails to cancel within the allotted time, checks will be cashed and their child(ren) will be ineligible to participate in future Operation Purple Programs.

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