Operation Purple Healing Adventures Reconnects Families After Injury or Illness

Nestled in the beautiful Rocky Mountains is YMCA Camp Shady Brook. Earlier this month, this mountain side campsite hosted Operation Purple Healing Adventures—a weekend-long retreat designed for families of wounded, ill, or injured service members that allow them to reconnect, have fun, and enjoy togetherness after an injury or illness.

Operation Purple Healing Adventures, which was graciously sponsored by USAA, served 18 families whose service member sustained wounds while on active duty. The families, who came from nearly all service branches—including Army, Air Force, and National Guard—traveled from Arizona, Minnesota, Kansas, and all over Colorado to take part in NMFA’s one-of-a-kind retreat experience.

While at camp, the families experienced both traditional and unique camp activities. The camp opened with a delicious dinner followed by a camp fire and s’mores overlooking the beautiful mountains and valleys. The next day, the families engaged in a resiliency training offered by the American Red Cross, and enjoyed activities like archery, arts and crafts, a ropes course, climbing wall, swimming, canoeing, hiking, rappelling, ziplining, and even tomahawk throwing! In the evenings, families spent time playing games and bonding by the campfire.

Operation Purple Healing Adventures allowed families to disconnect from stressors at home, enjoy their family, and connect with other families who share similar experiences. An 8-year-old Healing Adventures attendee shared that he loved being at the retreat spending fun time with his dad, and just being a kid. Another Healing Adventures attendee shared that their family would never be able to afford a vacation, and attending the retreat was the best vacation they could imagine because it allowed them purposeful time for rest and relaxation.

Thank you to the USAA Foundation for supporting such a wonderful weekend of healing and adventures.

Posted by Emily Lappat, Corporate Giving Officer


National Military Family Association
2800 Eisenhower Avenue, Suite 250
Alexandria, VA 22314

[email protected]

© 2020 - National Military Family Association | Privacy Policy

Let's Connect

Columbia, NC

Operation Purple Camp

Eastern 4-H Center is owned and operated by NC State University. The Center's staff is dedicated to providing every camper an opportunity to feel accepted, valued, and cared about as a member of the summer camp community. Creating friendships and a sense of safety are as important to us as the activities we teach. Our vision is to establish an enjoyable and exciting summer camp program that contributes to the development of each camper's character, along with the development of important life skills. Our summer camp experience enables campers to learn these skills while doing a variety of traditional summer camp activities, such as kayaking, canoeing, rock climbing, learning about nature, team challenge course, sports and games, arts and crafts, and archery. Eastern 4-H Center is also outfitted with modern recreational facilities and lodgings to make campers feel comfortable during their stay. We hope your camper will join us for a fun filled week.

Camp Dates

July 21 - 26


Camper Ages

8 - 13 years old

Camp Contact

Jennifer Standish
[email protected]

Camp Applications Open March 2