Operation Purple: Camp for military kids

Operation Purple is under way at Camp Horizons in Harrisonburg. The camp, created in 2004, is for children ages 6-12 whose parents are serving in any branch of the military.

In 2004, there were 12 Operation Purple camps across the United States. The program has grown to the point that this year there are 68 that are going on throughout the summer serving a total of 10,000 military kids.

The camp costs nothing for the children to attend and is a week-long camp.

“The camp’s main goal is to get the kids to just have a good time and get to know other children whose parents are in the military and also to give the parents at home a break,” said Kim Betts, director of administration at Camp Horizons.

The 101 children attending the Camp Horizons’ rendition of Operation Purple are kids from all over Virginia, not just the Harrisonburg area.

Each child is getting the opportunity to record a video message to send to their parent who is overseas. This special camp for these children is like any other camp. There is swimming, arts and crafts, games and service projects. This year the service projects were to pick peaches and can them in Keezletown. Another one was to work at the Our Community Place farm pulling weeds. Gift and Thrift was another place the children helped by sorting through donations.

Today was Military Fun Day at Operation Purple complete with military trucks and obstacle courses.

The National Military Family Association chose Camp Horizons this past winter to host Operation Purple. The National Military Family Association is a non profit organization that is simply hoping to help the American citizens who are helping the rest of us. This organization helps families who have someone involved in the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Coast Guard and Commissioned Corps.

Operation Purple at Camp Horizons is being funded by the Sierra Club, who hope to help again in the future.
 
 

Story by Jenny Hypes. Jenny can be reached at jenny.hypes@emu.edu.


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