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S'more Support: Camp Helps Kids Cope With Military Parents

S'more Support: Camp Helps Kids Cope With Military Parents

'Tis the season for sleep away camp — and for 100 kids attending a weeklong camp in the tiny Rocky Mountain town of Larkspur organized it's no exception. The only difference is, the camp is free, and sponsored by the National Military Family Association. The association is hosting 10,000 campers in 37 states this summer — with a special mission: to help both veterans and their kids deal with the stresses of deployment.

There are more than 155,000 American children with a parent deployed in Iraq or Afghanistan, and though their parents have a tough job, the kids at home bear a burden too. With dad or mom gone, days can easily fill with loneliness and anxiety over their parents in combat. S'mores, songs, and sleeping under the stars with new friends who understand their situation is a big help. The typical camp activities are there — but they're geared toward the service as well. Instead of writing letters home the kids' notes will be dispatched to brighten military dining halls overseas. One camper says, "It's nice to help more than just our parents."

One entire wall of the dining hall is plastered with photos of parents serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. A note scrawled on one reads, "So me and my brother all have to be strong and make sacrifices for my dad because we all want him to come back."

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nicachica nicachica 9 years
Camp is wonderful! I'm a counselor at a camp for kids with cancer and its the same idea - you take some time out to experience all that fun camp stuff and let go of your problems for awhile. Psychologically, it's an excellent way for kids to relieve serious stress and other problems in their lives. I can't say enough positive things about camp. :)
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 9 years
Camp for any kids, and especially these kids is a great experiance
LaurenG22 LaurenG22 9 years
I try so hard to get the word out to military parents about these summer camps. There are many to choose from and it really helps the kids :) :cheer:
UnDave35 UnDave35 9 years
What a great idea. :)
smhooper smhooper 9 years
This is so sweet :)
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