When you think of wounded, ill, and fallen military heroes, do you also think of their children? Camp Corral believes you should. Camp Corral, a national non-profit organization, starts with the child to serve the families of our nation’s heroes. Since their inception in 2011, Camp Corral has recognized the very real hardships that go along with serving as a military-connected child – especially one who has experienced the trauma of having a parent become wounded, ill, or fallen as a result of their military service. In keeping with their vision to empower these children to live their best lives possible, the Camp Corral team develops and delivers specialized programming designed to meet the unique needs of these children and their families. In the past ten years, some 24,000 children from every state in the nation have taken part in a Camp Corral week-long summer experience, at no cost to their families. Along with traditional programs designed to offer respite, build peer-support connections, strengthen selfconfidence, and reinforce coping skills, Camp Corral took what was down-time for many organizations during the Covid-19 pandemic to bolster their supportive services with new holistic-focused programming. Searching for a way to continue to positively impact military-connected children, many of whom had come to rely upon their yearly experience with Camp Corral, the team crafted targeted programs to continue to reach the families during times of physical distancing, and beyond. This time spent in research became the chrysalis for new year-round opportunities such as Family Camp Retreats; Virtual Peer Connection Groups; Therapeutic Art Programs; Staying Healthy – Self Care for Child Caregivers educational programs; and a free virtual video series, Life Tools for MilKids, which teaches resilience and coping skills designed with these children and their families in mind.
WWW.HomelandMagazine.com / APRIL 2021
Leigh Longino, CEO of Camp Corral, stated that as exciting as these times are heading into the summer camp season, the Camp Corral team is also disappointed that available spots for campers have had to be reduced by more than 50% this year. “As with many communities and businesses around the world, our friends, partners, and long-time donors have also faced difficult challenges financially which have unfortunately resulted in a lessening of their ability to help contribute to the camp experiences for these children”. Heading into April, the Month of the Military Child, the camp has more than 1,700 children on waiting lists to attend camps across the country. “As disheartened as we are that not every child who wants to attend our camp programs will be able to do so this summer we are determined not to be deterred,” Longino continued. “Our team is eager to forge ahead and make the best of every opportunity we have to change the very real hardships that go along with serving as a military-connected child.” And forge ahead they have. Registration recently opened for Camp Corral’s new Family Camp Retreats and spots were quickly being filled. Through this new all-inclusive program Camp Corral is expanding its impact on the entire family by offering a variety of fun activities coupled with opportunities for much needed respite and reconnection within family groups. “Our desire to incorporate Family Camp Retreats was an organic evolution of our commitment to supporting the needs of the wounded warrior family,” said Hannah Hutler-Boyd, Chief Program Officer of Camp Corral. “We are determined to create a deeper, more impactful experience for these children and their families and believe that by offering opportunities for them to
Homeland Magazine - Resources, Support, PTSD, Transition, GI Bill, Veterans, Active Military, Military Families