HEIDELBERG, Germany - Following up on last year's successful program, Installation Management Command-Europe will again host summer camps specifically designed for children of deployed servicemembers.

Called Camp A.R.M.Y. Challenge - the acronym stands for Adventure, Resilience, Memories, Youth - the program offers not only a welcome break from the family stresses of deployment, but also a chance for "kids to meet other youth facing similar challenges," said Joe Marton, child and youth programs specialist for IMCOM-Europe Morale, Welfare and Recreation.

Besides the four summer camps - which range from sports and fitness to astronaut training - there will be one-week day camps offered at selected garrisons for school-age children, middle school youth and teens. Additionally, Child and Youth Services programs for school-age children in grades 1-5 will be available at every garrison.

Middle school and high school students in grades 6-12 (during the 2007-2008 school year) whose active-duty Army, Air Force, Navy, or Marine parent deployed or will be deploying between June 1, 2007, and March 1, 2009, are eligible to apply. Although the camp is hosted exclusively by IMCOM-Europe CYS, each Camp A.R.M.Y. Challenge venue will have four spaces open to other services. Students having just completed eighth grade are considered an eighth-grader for camp attendance and may only apply to the middle school camp sessions.

A sports and fitness camp will be the first Camp A.R.M.Y. Challenge venue for middle school youth in grades 6-8. The camp will be held June 16-21 in Germany, followed by July 5-12 island adventure session near the German coastline, focusing on environmental awareness.

For high school students in grades 9-12, a sports and fitness camp will be held June 16-21 in Germany. And during Aug. 3-8, a space camp - including a simulated launch - will provide a hands-on "shoot-for-the stars" science and technology experience designed to challenge teenagers, Marton said.

"Stress and resiliency take on a deeper meaning when you're a novice crewmember, sitting in a replica of the NASA space shuttle," he added. "And when you're only 15, the experience can be exhilarating and empowering ... and the chance of a lifetime to gain confidence, self-reliance, and maturity."

During space camp, participants will use actual tools employed by astronauts. Plus they will operate a simulated space flight center and life-size shuttle while under the direction of a team of specialists.

To ensure as many youth as possible have the opportunity to attend Camp A.R.M.Y. Challenge, participants can attend only one session.

A $50 camp registration fee will be charged only when a camper is selected to attend. The fee, which is due May 31, reserves a slot in an assigned session. Refund of the registration fee will be given only if written cancellation is submitted at least two weeks prior to camp starting.

Central bus pick-up points will provide transportation to all camps; however, organizers stressed that individualized transportation will not be funded, with families being responsible for getting their son or daughter to central bus pick-up points.

Complete information details and application forms, which will be accepted only online, are available at http://www.mwr-europe.com/

Deadline for applying is May 2.

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16