Operation Purple Update
As we head back to school, the National Military Family Association is reminiscing over an amazing Operation Purple® Camp season! Schoolmates of more than 1,500 military children will be able to hear about their Operation Purple Camp memories. With experiences ranging from river rafting to climbing mountains, 16 Operation Purple camps offered military kids from all over the US a departure from stress this summer.
To promote healthy communication habits Operation Purple campers participate in a daily journaling activity. To help reduce the stress that comes from experiencing a deployment, campers are able to communicate words that may otherwise go unsaid. Journaling has become a profound piece of the Operation Purple Camp experience that campers can continue well after camp has ended. Journaling is meant to be an outlet for the camper’s benefit. One voice captured our sentiments perfectly when she shared what she’d written her last day of Operation Purple camp:
“Today is the last day of camp. I am sad to leave my new friends and family from camp but I am so happy to go home and tell everyone I know how much fun I had. I never knew that one week with strangers could change how I view everything. I know now that no matter how tough life gets for me that there are so many other kids like me feeling the same pressure.
I am very thankful to my counselors for helping me understand that it is okay to be upset when I feel like it. My life is unique and most of my friends at home don’t understand, but that is okay because I don’t feel alone. I have so many new friends that DO understand.
I’m proud of my family and what we have to go through. It can be really hard, but I would not want it any differently. The things I learned at camp will be things I remember forever. -Kaylie”
Closing out the summer camp season is always bittersweet for the Association, but the Operation Purple program is marching forward. The Operation Purple program will be supporting military families and families of the wounded with family camp experiences across the US throughout the fall.
To see where Operation Purple family camps will be held, or to apply now, visit the Operation Purple webpage at www.militaryfamily.org/our-programs/operation-purple/family-retreats. Happy Camping!
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