Extension News

Iowa 4-H to Host Operation Purple Summer Camp


AMES, Iowa -- The National Military Family Association (NMFA) announced today that Iowa State University Extension 4-H Youth Development will again host an Operation Purple Summer Camp. 

“NMFA is excited to welcome back Iowa 4-H as a participant in this very worthwhile program,” said Tanna Schmidli, NMFA chairman of the board/CEO. “We look forward to working together to indeed, make a difference in children’s lives.”

NMFA developed the free summer camp program in response to the need for increased support for military children, especially those whose parents are or will be deployed.

Iowa 4-H, in its second year of the program, “is part of a select list of dedicated teams who will host more than 2,500 deserving children at 26 locations in 22 states,” said Chris Gleason, 4-H program coordinator. “Iowa 4-H joins with the NMFA to thank the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation and TriWest Healthcare Alliance for sponsoring the 2006 Operation Purple Camps.” 

Gleason terms Operation Purple Iowa “a fun retreat full of activities that build resiliency and coping skills in a safe environment.” Typical activities include a high ropes course and climbing wall, creek walks, campfire reflections, skits, community service and tours.

Campers interact with other military kids who face similar stressors, Gleason said. They develop and strengthen their communication skills, reflect on their own situations and look outside themselves, finding ways to positively impact their world.

Youth who are entering grades 7 through 12 are eligible to apply to Operation Purple Iowa. More information about the camp, including camp registration, is available on the NMFA Operation Purple Web site at www.operationpurple.org. Applications will be available only online. Registration runs March 15 through May 1.

The Iowa 4-H Center, site of Operation Purple Iowa, is located on 1,100 acres of wooded bluff and open prairie along the Des Moines River in Boone County. The center is online at www.extension.iastate.edu/4hcenter.

 “Purple” denotes that the camp is open to children of any member of the uniformed services including National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration, United States Public Health Service and the National Guard and Reserve.

Other host states include Alaska, California, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Maryland, Michigan, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Washington and Vermont.


Contacts :

Chris Gleason, 4-H Youth Program Coordinator, (515) 294-1557, cgleason@iastate.edu

Carol Ouverson, Continuing Education and Communication Services, (515) 294-9640, couverso@iastate.edu

About NMFA
The National Military Family Association is the only national organization whose sole focus is the military family and whose goal is to influence the development and implementation of policies that will improve the lives of the families of the seven uniformed services. For more than 35 years, its staff and volunteers, comprised mostly of military family members, have built a reputation for being the leading experts on military family issues. Visit www.nmfa.org for more information.

About The Michael and Susan Dell Foundation
The Michael and Susan Dell Foundation (www.msdf.org) was established in 1999 by the Dell family to improve outcomes for under-served children in a measurable way. Based in Austin, Texas, the Foundation funds programs that foster and improve education, health and safety for children around the world. With an endowment of more than $1 billion, the Foundation has committed more than $225 million to global children’s issues and Central Texas community initiatives to date.

About TriWest Healthcare Alliance
TriWest Healthcare Alliance is a Phoenix-based corporation that partners with the Department of Defense to provide access to cost-effective, high-quality health care for 2.7 million members of America’s military family in the 21-state TRICARE West Region, which is comprised of Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, Wyoming and western Texas. For more information, visit www.triwest.com.

“TriWest recognizes that as military parents deploy in our nation’s defense, their children face an array of challenges,” said TriWest President and CEO David J. McIntyre Jr. “As an extension of our mission to support the well-being of America’s military family, we are proud to support NMFA's Operation Purple Summer Camp.”

About Iowa 4-H
The Iowa State University Extension 4-H Youth Development program provides opportunities for youth to develop skills they can use now and throughout their lives. 4-H builds upon a century of experience as it fosters positive youth development based on the needs and strengths of youth, their families and communities. Iowa 4-H has worked with the children of Iowa’s soldiers since January 2004 through its Operation: Military Kids project.