Application Process


What is Operation Purple Camp

Operation Purple camps offer a free week of summer fun and are open to military – connected children from all service branches including National Guard and Reserve, Coast Guard, National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration, and the United States Public Health Services Commission Corps; however, priority is given to those children who will have a parent or guardian deployed 18 months prior to or after May 2020; or have a parent that has a wound, illness or injury post 9/11 (medically retired, medically discharged, active duty and reserve). If all spaces are not filled with campers who meet the criteria, the remaining camp slots are filled with any eligible military children.


Can I apply to an Operation Purple camp outside of my state?

We request that you apply to the closest Operation Purple camp that fits your child’s age range. However, the National Military Family Association recognizes that military families frequently PCS and/or visit family during the summer months. Under these circumstances or if there is not a camp in your state that meets your needs you may apply to an Operation Purple camp located outside of your state. The cost for travel expenses and transportation to and from camp is covered by the family applying. Once the child(ren) arrive at camp, Operation Purple camp will take care of lodging, meals, and activities.

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

A child, under no circumstances, is permitted to attend more than one Operation Purple Camp per summer. This ensures the most children possible are able to go to camp each summer. If it is determined a child attended more than one camp, the child will become ineligible for future Operation Purple camps. Only one application per child is permitted. If more than one application is submitted, the National Military Family Association reserves the right to select one camp for the child and remove all other applications for that individual.

Is there an Operation Purple camp for children with special needs?

Upon acceptance, all camp families will be asked to complete an Operation Purple Special Needs Assessment Form. The National Military Family Association’s Operation Purple Program does not discriminate against children with special needs, but requests this information in order to provide a safe and enjoyable experience for campers. Please note that some camps’ terrain or activity levels may make it difficult to accommodate children with certain special needs. We encourage parents to work with camps prior to the start of the Operation Purple session to determine safety and medical accommodations.

How do I know that my application has been successfully processed?

Upon completion of the online application applicants should see a message that states “You have successfully completed the application. Thank you for applying.” In addition to this confirmation screen, you will receive one confirmation email to the email address you provided.

How do I complete the application if I have more than one child that would like to attend camp?

While completing the online application, parents will be asked how many children they plan to register. Once they have completed the first application they will be given the option to register additional children. Pertinent contact information will be transferred from the first application to subsequent applications.

My child attended Operation Purple camp in the past; can I apply again this year?

There is no limit to the number of years a child can attend; however, first priority in selection of attendees is given to those children who have never attended an Operation Purple camp before AND who have a parent who was wounded, ill or injured during service or been deployed 15 months prior to or after May 2020.


My child is a military child. Is he/she guaranteed a spot at Operation Purple camp?

Unfortunately, all applicants are not guaranteed a spot at camp. First preference is given to military children who have a parent that was wounded, ill or injured during service or have been deployed 18 months prior to or after May 2020.


My child is just outside of the age range of the Operation Purple camp I want him/her to attend. Can I still apply?

Operation Purple camps request to serve certain age ranges based on the activities and events at their camp. In certain situations, camps may make the decision to accept a child close in age range, but these are done on a case-by-case basis. Parents should contact the camp they would like their child to attend directly to determine whether this is a possibility.

The online registration system is showing a wait time. What can I do?

Due to high volumes of people registering for Operation Purple camps, there will be times during the day when the online registration may show long wait times. If this occurs, applicants will need to attempt to log in at another time.

Registration + Notification


When will I know if my camper was accepted to camp?

All camp applicants will receive emails regarding their application status no later than the first week of May. Selected campers will then be required to fill out specific host camp registration forms before their acceptance is considered complete. Forms not turned in to the camp by the required date could lead to the loss of your child’s camp slot.

If my child is accepted to camp, where do I send my completed Operation Purple camp registration forms?

With the exception of the online application (submitted electronically), once a camper has been accepted to camp, all registration forms must be mailed directly to the camp where the child has been accepted.

Are Operation Purple campers picked on a first come first serve basis?

The camps handle the selection process based on priority being given to those children who have a parent that has been wounded, ill or injured (medically retired, medically discharged, active duty and reserve); or will have a parent or guardian deployed 18 months prior to or after May 2020. Camps also base selections on previous attendance to Operation Purple camp and age of children (because of cabin availability, etc.). This ensures that camper slots are evenly distributed in order to serve the widest variety of children possible.

“Hold My Spot” Deposit


What is a "Hold My Spot" Deposit?

When a child is selected to attend an Operation Purple camp session in 2020 they will be required to submit an online “Hold My Spot” Deposit of $25 per child.


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

[email protected]

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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