By Mr. Ollie R Johnson (IMCOM)April 28, 2009
HEIDELBERG, Germany - Children of deployed servicemembers in Europe have until May 4 to apply for a summer camp filled with activities ranging from culinary classes to specialized instructions in several sports.
The one-week outing, called Camp A.R.M.Y. Challenge, is designed specifically for teens and middle-school children and is hosted by Installation Management Command-Europe Morale, Welfare and Recreation.
Camp A.R.M.Y. Challenge - the acronym stands for Adventure, Resilience, Memories, Youth - is set for June 15-20 and offers not only a welcome break from the family stresses of deployment, but also "provides a perfect venue for kids to have fun and learn at the same time," said Joe Marton, Child, Youth and School Services program specialist for IMCOM-Europe.
And the program aims to build social skills, Marton added, "that can used for a lifetime."
Middle-school and high-school students currently in grades 6-12 whose active-duty parents have deployed or will be deploying between June 1, 2008, and March 1, 2010, are eligible to apply.
Although the camp is hosted exclusively by IMCOM-Europe Child, Youth and School Services, the camp will have some spaces open to children whose deployed moms or dads belong to the Air Force, Navy or Marine Corps.
Students having just completed eighth grade are considered an eighth-grader for attendance and may only apply to the middle-school camp sessions.
CAC, which will be held in Germany, will focus on basketball, culinary arts, soccer, and track and field. Plus every camper will participate in an outdoor adventure program, such as hiking, climbing and canoeing, and healthy living classes. "We want the experience to be educational and entertaining," Marton said.
Dylan Smith, a participant in last year's sports camp, said he welcomed the sharp coaching, which, he believes, elevated his soccer game. "The instructors really pushed fundamentals ... they encourage you to have fun, to loosen up and to not be so hard on yourself."
For all of those interested in applying, a non-refundable $50 camp registration fee is required when a child is selected to attend the camp. The fee reserves a slot in an assigned session.
Central bus pick-up points will provide transportation to the camps; however, Marton stressed that individualized transportation will not be funded, with families being responsible for getting their sons or daughters to central bus pick-up points.
Complete information details and application forms - which will be accepted only online - are available at www.mwr-europe.com.