Friday, August 22, 2008


A military “brat” runs the obstacle course at Operation Purple’s Camp Sandy Cove in High View, W.Va. Operation Purple camps are for children with deployed parents, parents who recently returned from deployment or parents who are about to deploy. Photo by Elizabeth M. Lorge

Military kids go to camp

HIGH VIEW, W.Va. (Army News Service, Aug. 20, 2008) - Kids at Camp Sandy Cove here are spending the week doing typical camp activities such as canoeing, practicing archery, cooking outdoors and even learning the trapeze, but these aren't your typical campers.

The approximately 71 campers here are participating in Operation Purple, summer camps for kids with deployed parents, parents who have recently returned from deployment or parents about to deploy.

Created in 2004 by the National Military Family Association, Operation Purple's free camps are designed to help military "brats" enjoy fun and relaxation while bonding with other kids who understand the rigors of watching parents march off to war and moving every few years. According to organizers, about 10,000 kids are attending 62 camps in 37 states and territories this year, up from last year's 4,000 kids and 37 camps.

"The camp is really a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity," said 13-year-old Audrey Zipperer, whose father has deployed twice. "You get to do a lot of things you wouldn't be able to on a normal basis, like horseback riding. It costs quite a bit of money to go horseback riding. Here we get lessons all week long. The kids know how you feel and it's definitely comforting."...

Read the rest here.

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