July 13, 2011

Kids from military families enjoy Teen Wilderness Adventure Camp

By Cotton Puryear      
Virginia Department of Military Affairs

NEW CASTLE, Va. — Approximately 50 children of Virginia National Guard and active duty military parents took part in the Teen Wilderness Adventure Camp held at Wilderness Adventure at Eagle Landing in New Castle June 26-30. Activities at the camp included kayaking, mountain biking, hiking and outdoor activities for building confidence and teamwork.

 

Approximately 50 children of Virginia National Guard and active duty military parents took part in the Teen Wilderness Adventure Camp held at Wilderness Adventure at Eagle Landing in New Castle June 26 to 30. The camp was organized by the Virginia National Guard Youth Program in partnership with Operation: Military Kids and offered an opportunity for teens to grow together in a non-traditional learning environment with activities that develop leadership and effective communication. Activities at the camp included kayaking, mountain biking, hiking and outdoor activities for building confidence and teamwork. (Photo by Capt. Craig Carper, 192nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs)


Click HERE to view more photos on Flickr.

“The goal of the camp is to bring the kids together and build camaraderie, especially during times of deployment,” said Dana Ivory, director of youth programs for the Virginia National Guard. The camp has team building activities that have the kids working together as well as giving them opportunities to grow as individuals, build confidence and overcome fears, she said.

The camp was organized by the Virginia National Guard Youth Program in partnership with Operation: Military Kids and offered an opportunity for teens to grow together in a non-traditional learning environment with activities that develop leadership and effective communication.

Of the almost 50 kids taking part in the camp, about 40 are children of Army and Air National Guard and the others are from active duty families, Ivory said. More than half of the campers have taken part in this camp or the youth camp conducted the last five years at the State Military Reservation in Virginia Beach. The camp at SMR is for ages eight to 12 and the wilderness camp is for ages 13 to 17.

Ivory said that kids at the camp develop a connection that continues to grow through the year through texting, Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites.

One of the camp’s counselors was a veteran of both the teen camp and the SMR youth camp. Ben Billmyer, age 18, attended the camp for three years and was serving as a counselor for the first time. He said he particularly enjoyed the activities where campers work both on team building skills as well as confidence.

“I know what to do in these different activities because I have done them before, but it is so awesome to watch other kids figure out what to do and build leadership skills through these activities,” he said.

“At these camps everyone has a common denominator because they are all military youth,” Billmyer said. “I have made a lot of friends, and that is the best thing about this camp.”

Click HERE to return to the top of the page ~ Click HERE to return to the news directory