JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas –
With kids starting to get excited about summer, many parents are thinking about how to keep their kids active and engaged until the fall.
As COVID-19 rates drop around the country in many parts of the country, youth centers across the Department of the Air Force are looking forward to reopening their doors to youth and teens, said Colonel Christopher Parrish, Air Force Services Center commander.
The Child and Youth Programs team has been busy planning youth camps and programs to support families, while also keeping everyone’s health and safety a top priority.
“The summer season often kicks off with America’s Kids Run, a family fun run for children and youth across the other service branches,” said Parrish. “Our team here at the center is excited for our military youth to get out this summer and enjoy a variety of camps and programs.”
Installations across the enterprise have the opportunity to host a fun run, color run or glow run to encourage families to get out and move together. This recreational run allows for a return to a sense of community while offering social distancing options, said Parrish. DAF patrons are encouraged to check with their local youth centers for events in their communities.
“Whether they attend virtually or in-person, youth and teens are winding down their studies and getting ready for fun in the sun,” said Erica Mitchell, AFSVC CYP division chief. “DAF Youth Programs are so excited to have youth and teens back together this summer and can’t wait to begin the summer camp season to keep youth engaged and busy.”
While offerings will vary by installation, on-site specialty camps are returning with possibilities including archery, culinary, non-traditional sports, paintball, performing arts, science and soccer.
Thanks to a partnership between DAF Youth Programs and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, there is also the 4-H youth outreach program from the Land Grant Universities and Cooperative Extension Services. Visit https://4-hmilitarypartnerships.org/events/camps to find participating states.
“The 4-H camps are designed especially for military-connected youth,” said Mitchell. “We encourage anyone interested to visit the 4-H website and follow the information from the specific land-grant university hosting the 4-H camp to remain up-to-date on all camping details and requirements.”
There are also Military Teen Adventure Camps in June and July for any military youth ages 13-18. Host states include Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Hawaii, Kentucky and Washington. To see the line-up of camps for 2022, visit the new website at https://extension.purdue.edu/4-H/get-involved/military-teen-adventure-camps/index.html.
To learn more about each camp and how to register, military families can also visit the “Camps by Location” page on the new website. Stay current with the latest news and opportunities by visiting https://www.dafchildandyouth.com/news-highlights.