By Army ReserveJune 16, 2009
Army Reserve Enrichment Camp
What is it'
Army Reserve Enrichment Camp (AREC) is a five- seven day residential camping experience for youth organized by Army Reserve Child, Youth & School Services in partnership with an American Camping Association Accredited residential camp. AREC helps to reduce feelings of isolation among Army Reserve youth who do not typically live in communities with large numbers of military youth like those found near an installation. Campers participate in meaningful activities that build skills in leadership, independence, peer relationships, self esteem, adventure and exploration. Campers also develop skills to handle the rigors of deployment and have opportunities to share their personal experiences with other campers and adult advisors who staff the camps.
What has AREC done'
To date, AREC has served 351 Army Reserve connected youth and will serve 1,000 more in the summer of 2009. Youth that have participated in camping activities have reported growth in the specific areas of: self-esteem, independence, leadership, friendship skills, adventure and exploration and spirituality. Through the camping experience, youth create a network of peers and adult advisors that serve to increase feelings of cohesion with the Army Reserve community and support during deployment. Additionally, community youth serving organizations that host AREC become educated on issues important to military youth and are better prepared to meet their unique needs.
What continued efforts does the Army Reserve have planned for the future'
Child, Youth & School Services recognize the importance of providing meaningful opportunities for participation that translates into resilient youngsters. Summer camp is a proven and enjoyable way to foster that self-righting resilience so imperative to military life. Not surprisingly, the Army recognizes that there is something special about summer camp and thus, through community partnerships, offers the opportunity to attend camp to geographically dispersed youths.
Why is this important to the Army Reserve'
Army leaders recognize that the strength of our Soldiers comes from the strength of their families. AREC can provide Army Reserve youth an opportunity to become proficient in skills needed to successfully cope with the stress brought about by military life like frequent and multiple deployments, relocation, uncertainty about the future and feelings of isolation.
Army Reserve Family Programs Web site
Army Reserve Web site