Operation Purple Healing Adventures is a family camp experience for active duty or medically retired service members who were wounded or experienced emotional trauma or illness related to their service in Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF), Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF), or Operation New Dawn (OND).
Healing Adventures will include structured activities developed by the FOCUS Program (Families Overcoming Under Stress™). These activities highlight areas of strength and resilience in the family and promote family growth. Families are supported in working together to enhance their relationships through communication activities aimed at building connections and family closeness.
Do I have to pay anything to attend Operation Purple 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.
Is Operation Purple Healing Adventures 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.
Is there medical staff available?
Operation Purple Healing Adventures sites at the minimum have a nurse and staff that are CPR and First Aid Certified. Please contact the location you are interested in to ask about specific medical staff.
Is transportation provided?
Transportation to the Operation Purple Healing Adventures site is the responsibility of the selected family. The National Military Family Association provides each attending family with a $200.00 stipend to assist with travel costs. This stipend will be distributed to families at the end of the weekend.
My family attended Operation Purple Healing Adventures in the past; can I apply again this year?
There is no limit to the number of years you can attend; however, first priority in selection of attendees is given to families who have never attended Operation Purple Healing Adventures before.
What should I bring to Operation Purple Healing Adventures?
Accepted families will receive a detailed list of suggested items to pack. Families should plan to bring clothes and shoes suitable for outdoor activity in warm weather. A sample packing list is:
- Personal care items and medications you may need while away from home
- Camera, chargers, etc.
- Comfortable clothing (layering is recommended for unpredictable weather)
- Tennis or hiking shoes
- An additional pair of shoes that can get wet such as rain gear and/or boots
- Sweaters/Sweatshirts (for cooler evening temperatures)
- Water bottle
- Insect repellent
- Strollers, booster seats, and pack n’ plays for younger children
- Sleeping bag or sheets and blankets (for some locations)
- Shower Shoes (optional)
- Coat, hat and gloves (depending on weather)
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.
What types of accommodations are available at Operation Purple Healing Adventures sites?
Every Operation Purple Healing Adventures site is different, but, at a minimum, all sites offer private rooms that can sleep up to five campers. Handicap accessible rooms are available upon request.
What types of activities are offered at the program?
Each program location has a different focus and activities vary from site to site. Highly specialized field science educators will guide families through various activities that may include nature hikes, canoeing, fly fishing, campfires, beach exploration, arts and crafts, and challenge activities.
All retreats also include resiliency and communication skills activities led by staff members from FOCUS (Families OverComing Under Stress).
When will I find out if my family has been accepted to attend Operation Purple Healing Adventures?
Four to six weeks before the event, an email notification will be sent to all applicants to inform them whether they have been accepted. Accepted families will then be required to fill out host camp registration forms before their acceptance status is considered complete. Failure to return required registration and release forms by the deadline could lead to the loss of your family's camp slot.
Will we have free time to explore and enjoy the outdoors as a family?
Yes, family time has been built in to the Operation Purple Healing Adventures weekend.