Camp Military Kid Strong in Its Third Year

Everyone needs a break from the pressures and distractions of daily life, a time for refreshment and rejuvenation. Penn State Military Youth Program and Easter Seals of Western and Central PA joined forces for the third year in a row to bring Camp Military Kid Strong to 100 military youth. Military youth in various phases of the deployment cycle joined us for a 6 night, 7 day residential camp held at Camp Hebron in Dauphin County.

Camp Military Kid Strong

Camp Military Kid Strong

Camp Military Kid Strong was an opportunity for campers with and without special needs to have fun in the outdoors, make new friends and challenge themselves with new activities all to enhance self-confidence and personal growth. Through our partnership with Easter Seals, camp activities were adapted so that every camper can participate, no matter their ability level.

It was a military melting pot where military children from Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard, Active and Reserve Components, came together and developed life skills and formed friendships with other youth with similar life experiences in a fun, safe environment. Throughout the week you could observe campers rallying around fellow campers with a military parent currently deployed, sharing experiences of their own families’ deployments, and supporting one another through this challenging time.

New this year, high school teens experienced a week of thrills. Teen participants camped out in rustic shelters and had the chance to attempt exciting adventures each day such as high ropes, zip line, hiking the Mid-State Trail. At the conclusion of camp, one teen stated “The most important thing I learned at camp this week is everything is easier when you work well with teammates and show one another respect.”

Dauphin County 4-H came out and supported the effort. Bryan Garrido, 4-H County Educator, and Ryley Garrido, 4-H Member, conducted a stop motion workshop with the elementary and middle school campers. A video was created showing the impact camp has on their lives.

2015 Camp Military Kid Strong was made possible through the 2015 Department of Defense (DoD) Child and Youth Reintegration Support Camp Grants are funded through a partnership of the Department of Defense, Office of the Secretary of Defense, Military Community & Family Policy, Office of Family Policy/Children and Youth and U.S. Department of Agriculture/National Institute of Food and Agriculture under Kansas State University special project number 2014-48713-22245.