Thursday, April 14, 2011

TOP STORY > >4-H camps focus on military kids

Registration is now under way for military children to “enlist” the 4-H Operation Military Kids Program.

Operation Military Kids is 4-H and the Department of Defense that offers support to children who are impacted by the deployment of a parent or parents.

“Today’s military heroes are the children of our military personnel - active duty, guard and reserve. When loved ones are deployed (parent, sibling, grandparent, and others) the children also serve,” said Maureen Rose, Arkansas 4H Military Liaison and OMK Director. “Their lives are impacted by the absence of those they love, as well as the stress of the types of missions being carried out. Operation Military Kids works to provide support to children impacted by deployment - at any stage.”

Though the program places priority on children of those who are deployed or whose parents have recently returned from deployed operations, but all military children are eligible to register.

The camps also offer opportunities to make friends with others who understand the unique challenges of being a military family member.

“The campers themselves tell us that they really enjoy being with other military children. This is particularly true for kids who are in communities with few military families. They create instantaneous bonds, and work very well together,” Ms. Rose said.

“Children attending camps develop life skills that will stay with them throughout life: getting along with others, understanding differences, self responsibility, conflict resolution, accepting differences – and many more,” she said.

Parents of children with special needs should consult with Ms. Rose concerning accommodations depending upon the requirements of the camp.

“We have had children with Asbergers syndrome, [attention deficit hyperactivity disorder] and hemophilia attend our military kids camps. We will work with campers to accommodate them, but need parents to consult with us about the individual child,” she said.

Military kids camps are paid for by grant funds from the Army and DOD. There is no charge to campers except for incidental costs such as a $5.00 t-shirt fee. There is also a limited amount of money set aside to assist families with financial constraints with travel reimbursement, according to Ms. Rose.

For information about the camps and how to register online, check out and click on the OMK dogtags graphic, or contact Ms. Rose via e-mail at or by phone at 501-671-2066.

(From compiled reports)

No comments: