More than 150 teens from U.S. military families will gather in the north Georgia mountains this July for a week of summer camp at Wahsega 4-H Center in Dahlonega, Ga.
The event, set for July 10-15, will be hosted by Georgia 4-H and Air Force Reserve Command at Robins Air Force Base.
“Georgia 4-H offers summer camps and weekend family camps for Georgia military families,” said Casey Mull, Georgia 4-H military program liaison. “To my knowledge, this will be the first camp that brings together reserve-component military teens from all branches of service and from all states across the nation.”
4-H has offered camps for military kids for seven years, but this is the first that focuses on building leadership skills among reserve-component teens from a national audience.
Barring any state or national disasters, National Guard and Reservists in the past have spent one weekend a month and two training weeks each summer away from their families. But, in recent years, that time away has gotten longer.
"With Operation Enduring Freedom and the Overseas Contingency Operations, our country is relying more and more on guard members and reservists,” Mull said. "When a parent leaves for duty, it impacts the entire family. These summer camps are designed to help teens build their resiliency as well as inform themselves of programs available in their communities specifically for them."
This summer’s camp will help the students gain confidence in themselves and their abilities and learn ways to connect with other military teens, he said. Each day of camp will focus on a different branch of service: Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard.
Like most summer camps, there will be traditional camping activities like hiking, rappelling, high-ropes challenges and white-water rafting.
Each year, more than 700 military families and youth participate in Georgia 4-H camping programs specifically designed for military families.
To learn more about Georgia 4-H’s military programs, visit www.georgia4h.org. For information on the national Extension-Military High Adventure Camp initiative, visit www.extension.purdue.edu/Adventure_camps.