Operation Purple® Camp

Operation Purple Camp Summer 2024

Join us for a special week of fun, designed to build community, connection, and resilience.

Operation Purple® Camp offers military kids a free week of summer camp where they connect with other kids, just like them.

At Operation Purple, we combine fun filled activities and targeted resources that support military kids to improve wellbeing, build connections, and equip them to thrive in the face of the challenges and adventures that come with military life.

Children of active-duty service members and veterans, from all uniformed services, including the National Guard, Reserve, Space Force, the Commissioned Corps of the United States Public Health Service, and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration may apply.


Operation Purple Camp Applications Are Closed

Please click on the location below to view information about that camp.

No camp near you? Subscribe by email to be the first to sign up for Operation Purple Summer Challenge, a virtual summer camp experience designed for military families worldwide.

OPC Landing, AK
OPC Williamsburg, VA
OPC San Diego, CA
OPC Trinity, TX
OPC Columbia, NC
OPC San Diego, CA

Operation Purple Camp is full of fun outdoor adventures such as:

  • Campers can pump up their adrenaline with adventurous challenges such as climbing, ropes courses, ziplining, and cool off with a variety of water sports, including kayaking, canoeing, swimming, and more.
  • Curious and creative campers will love the arts and crafts, STEM explorations, and nature activities.
  • Spirited outdoor sports like gaga ball and field games build teamwork under the sun.
  • Operation Purple camp activities such as the Wall of Honor, Freedom Day by Under Armour Freedom, and Military Kid Appreciation activities, are designed to celebrate and honor the resilience and contributions of military kids.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is the application different for Alaska this year?

After many years as an incredible partner, Alaska’s Camp K is now operating as our first Operation Purple satellite camp. For families, not much will change – it will still be the same great Operation Purple experience it has always been and Camp K and NMFA have partnered to keep the program free for military children. Camp K will take on more of the logistical elements of camp, from the application process to family communications.

When does the application open?

Applications for the 2024 Operation Purple Camp summer are scheduled to open February 15. Camp locations and dates will also be released at this time.

How do I apply?

Beginning February 15, there will be a link on the Operation Purple Camp page to our application.

How will I know my application has been successfully processed?

Upon completion of the online application, applicants will see a confirmation message on the screen that says “You have successfully completed the application. Thank you for applying.” Our new application system does not send confirmation emails.

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

Campers can apply for and attend ONE camp each year.

How are applicants chosen?

Campers are prioritized based on several criteria that include, but are not limited to, being the child of a servicemember who is wounded, ill, or injured, or having a parent or guardian currently in a deployment cycle (has deployed, preparing to deploy, currently deployed). If all spaces are not filled with campers who fall in priority categories, the remaining camp slots are filled with eligible military children. Campers are not selected on a first come first serve basis.

Why are there so many questions on the application about my military service and my family?

Each year, our Research and Insights team aggregates the information we gather across our many programs to better understand the needs and experiences of our military families so NMFA can continue to stand up for, support, and enhance the quality of life for our families who serve. Your responses are critical to help NMFA create and sustain programs that impact more military families, like yours.

When will I know if my child is accepted to camp?

All camp applicants will receive emails regarding their application status no later than six weeks before the start of camp. You will receive notice of your acceptance by email from OPC@MilitaryFamily.org. If you applied for Operation Purple satellite camp, this notification would come directly from the host camp. It is imperative that you provide us with an email address you check regularly.

Will there be any costs associated with camps?

If you are notified that your child has been selected for camp, you will be asked for a refundable $25 “Hold My Spot” deposit in order to confirm their spot at camp. Operation Purple Camp is a free week of summer camp. However, there are a few possible costs for families that are not covered by the National Military Family Association.

  1. We are unable to cover transportation costs to and from your camp location.
  2. Any COVID-related testing or protocols required by specific camp sites.
  3. Your child will need to bring items from home to make their experience a positive one. The camp will provide a suggested packing list with items like weather-appropriate clothing, sleeping bags, flashlights, water bottles, etc.

What should I expect after I apply?

All campers will be notified of their acceptance to camp, or placement on our waitlist, by 11:59pm ET April 15, 2024.

What should I expect if my child/children are accepted to camp?

Once your child is accepted to a camp, that camp will reach out directly with information and forms to help prepare you and your campers for drop-off day! As early as April, but no later than three weeks before your camp begins, you will hear from your individual camp with instructions on how to complete camp health forms and submit any necessary paperwork. You will also have access to a “welcome packet” from camp that includes camp specific information and instructions. These packets are delivered via email so it is imperative your contact information on your child’s application is correct and up-to-date as this will be the contact information we pass on to camps.

No later than two weeks before camp, all camp health forms and other required documents MUST be submitted to camps. You are subject to dismissal from the program if you are not able to meet this deadline. Any questions regarding camper accommodations, dietary restrictions, camp specific activities, or other concerns can be addressed directly to your respective camp location, or with an NMFA staff member, at any point during the registration process, but should be addressed BEFORE campers are dropped off for their first day of camp. Feel free to reach out to our Operation Purple Program team at OPC@MilitaryFamily.org with questions.

What should I expect if my children are waitlisted?

Campers who are waitlisted will be notified directly by their selected camp if any spots become available. Notification of selection can occur any time between April 15th up until just a few days before camp begins. You will only be notified if a spot opens for you.

Please DO NOT contact camps directly regarding waitlist status. They will be unable to answer your questions and will direct you to contact an NMFA staff member. All questions regarding camper waitlists should be addressed to OPC@MilitaryFamily.org. Camps do not have waitlist information.

Can my children bring their phones and devices to Operation Purple Camp?

Operation Purple Camp is technology free. Children should leave their phones and electronic devices (including tablets, handheld game systems, and laptops) at home so they can focus on being a kid, building relationships, and being 100% present at camp. This is a rare time in their life when they can fully disconnect from technology and enjoy nature and the company of other military kids.  

Cell phones and other Wi-Fi-enabled devices can also be a liability to camper safety and wellbeing. By removing access to technology, we strive to avoid exposure to social media bullying, unauthorized photographs and videos of other campers, and homesickness due to a lack of immersion into the camp environment. This also prevents the item from being lost, stolen, or damaged. Any cell phones or electronic devices brought to camp will be held by camp staff in a safe location until departure. Camp staff are trained to watch for signs that campers are experiencing challenges adjusting to camp. If a camper needs to contact home, they should speak with their counselor, camp staff, the Military Family Life Counselor, or an NMFA staff member. Parents/guardians will be contacted if problems arise or if their child is experiencing a challenge.

National Military Family Association’s Statement on Inclusivity

NMFA supports all military families and welcomes military family members regardless of race, age, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation and identity, mental or physical ability, economic status, differences of thought and expression, or any other characteristic that divides us.

OPC 2023 - 68427 Military Kids Served Since 2004
OPC 2023 - 100% Made New Friends
OPC 2023 - Military Teens Rated Operation Purple 4 Stars

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