August 24, 2010
YMCA Camp Marston in Julian, CA is hosting the National Military Family Association’s popular Operation Purple summer camp this week August 22-27, 2010. The Association developed this free summer camp program in response to the need for increased support for military children, especially those whose parents are or will be deployed.
240 kids, ages 7 – 15, from all over San Diego County and beyond attend the camp for FREE thanks to support from the Sierra Club and The Sierra Club Foundation.
“Our mission is to empower these military children – our youngest heroes – to develop and maintain healthy and connected relationships, in spite of the current military environment. Kids attending Operation Purple camp will have the opportunity to learn the skills to cope with the stress of a deployment and make friends with other kids who are also missing their mom or dad,” said Mary Scott, the Association’s Chairman of the Board. “The National Military Family Association is excited to work with the YMCA of San Diego County on this very worthwhile program.”
Children have the opportunity to share their military parents’ stories and photos on the “Wall of Honor” and with the rest of the campers. Each camper brings in a picture of their family member and it is posted with notes and letters on a wall for the entire week.
The camp is “purple” which means that is open to
children of service members of any branch of Service, active duty, National
Guard or Reserve, as well as children of members of the Commissioned Corps of
the Public Health Service and National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration.
On Wed., Aug 24 there will be a landing of a US Coast Guard MH-60T Jayhawk Medium Range Recovery Helicopter. Also, the 1st Marine Logistics Group, Seventh Engineer Support Battalion from Camp Pendleton will arrive in a 7-ton battle truck and Humvee, including four Marines in full battle gear.
Operation Purple campers will be able to meet the Marines and Coast Guard service members, view equipment, take photos and ask questions.
Camp Marston, in Julian, is owned and operated by the YMCA of San Diego County. Situated on 236 acres of forests, trails and meadows, the camp features a pond for boating and fishing, archery and marksmanship ranges, play fields, swimming pool and lodging for 280 children and staff. Marston operates year round with traditional summer youth camps, school outdoor education programs, family camps and group rentals. In all, over 17,000 children and adults attend YMCA Camp Marston each year.