Frequently Asked Questions

Dad and kids reading

My family attended an Operation Purple Family Retreat in the past; can I apply again this year?

There is no limit to the number of times you can attend; however, first priority in selection of attendees is given to families who have never attended Operation Purple programs before.

Are Retreats open to families with infants and toddlers?

Yes. Daycare will be provided onsite during times when an ongoing activity is not suitable for infants and toddlers.

Our service member is still away on deployment. Can we attend the Retreat without him/her?

No. The focus of the Retreat program is reconnection and reintegration following a deployment. For this reason, we encourage families to apply to attend a Retreat after the service member has returned. We recommend that families plan to attend a Retreat no sooner than three months after the end of a deployment.

I'm retired, can my family still attend?

Yes, but only if your retirement date falls within 15 months or less from the date of the retreat.

Do I have to pay anything to attend an Operation Purple Family Retreat or Healing Adventures?

Food and lodging are provided to families at no cost. There are no activity fees or other expenses. Families are responsible for their own transportation to and from the program.

Kids serve too dad and daughter hug

What types of accommodations are available at the Operation Purple Family Retreats?

Each Operation Purple Family Retreat site is different, but, we work to ensure family members are housed together in private rooms big enough to accommodate the entire family.

What should I bring to Operation Purple Family Retreats?

Accepted families will receive a list of items that they should plan to pack. In most cases families must bring their own sleeping bags or bedding and towels.

Is there medical staff available?

Medical staff are not provided at our retreats.

Is transportation provided? 

Transportation to and from the Operation Purple program site is the responsibility of the selected family.

Family on a hike

What types of activities are offered?

Each Operation Purple program site has a different focus and activities vary from site to site. Highly specialized field science educators will guide families through various activities such as nature hikes, canoeing, campfires, beach exploration, arts and crafts, and challenge activities. Most of your time will be spent outdoors so families should come prepared to spend lots of time enjoying the scenery. Programs also include resiliency and communication skills activities uniquely tailored to Operation Purple programs and led by staff members from the American Red Cross (ARC).

Will we have free time to explore and enjoy the outdoors as a family?

Yes. Family time is built in to the Operation Purple Family Retreat weekend.

What type of food can we expect?

Guests enjoy hearty and balanced meals and snacks while attending the program. Meals are typically served buffet or family style. Vegetarian or specific dietary needs can be addressed with advance notice on registration forms.

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