August 26, 2011

The University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service and partnering organizations are offering free adventure camps for military service members and their teenage children in locations around the state during the next few months.

The Military-Extension Adventure camps will provide a fun environment for military service members and their children to spend quality time with each other while strengthening their relationships and participating in exciting activities.

Registration is still open for the following camps:

•    Challenge Course and Corn Maze, Sept. 16-18 at the Life Adventure Center in Versailles. Service members and their teens can enjoy rock wall climbing, various equine activities, high and low ropes courses, zip line and the largest corn maze in the state.

•    Backpacking 101 and Green River Paddle, Oct. 6-9 at Mammoth Cave National Park. Service members and their families will learn the basics of canoeing and camping. Campers will canoe down the Green River as it winds through Mammoth Cave National Park. Trained guides will lead campers as they canoe and hike on some of the most remote trails at Mammoth Cave.

•    Wilderness Survival, Oct. 14-16 at Land Between the Lakes National Recreational Area. Participants will learn how to survive with minimal supplies. Activities include learning useful survival skills like how to trap, fish, forage, construct shelters, purify water, build an emergency preparedness kit and alert others to their location.

•    Cold Weather Camping, Dec. 2-4 at Cumberland Gap National Historical Park. Participants will learn how to stay warm, comfortable and well-fed out in the wilderness during cold weather. They’ll also learn valuable skills for cold weather emergencies. Trained guides will assist participants during the weekend.

This is the first year for the high adventure camps, which are sponsored by a grant from a partnership between the Department of Defense, U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Office of Military Community and Family Policy. The camps, lodging, meals and activity-related equipment are provided to campers for free. No experience is required.

The camps are open to service members from any branch of the military and their children between the ages of 14 and 18 on a first-come, first-served basis. Priority is given to those families who have gone through at least one deployment and those who are geographically dispersed. Service member spouses may attend camp if the service member parent is unavailable. Campers do not have to reside in Kentucky.

Partnering organizations include the Life Adventure Center, Devers Middle School and Teen Center and the UK Family Center.

For an application packet or more information, visit the camp website at http://www.ca.uky.edu/hes/fcs/militarycamp/ or contact Lauren Smith, UK camp project coordinator, at 859-257-3072 or email lauren.w.smith@uky.edu.