April 9, 2014 | By: Katie Pratt

Service members and their teenage children can experience new adventures together through camps provided by the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service.

Extension is partnering with Life Adventure Center of the Bluegrass and the Center for Courageous Kids to host 10 adventure camps in Kentucky and neighboring states. The camps are funded by a Military-Teen Adventure Camp grant that UK Family and Consumer Sciences Extension received from the Department of Defense. 

The camps are open to service members from any branch of the military, DOD civilians and contractors from any state, and their 14-to18-year-old child or children. Priority is given to families with at least one deployment.

“Military families face unique challenges and struggles,” said Kerri Ashurst, UK senior extension specialist for family and consumer sciences. “The parent/teen camps are especially well suited for families that are experiencing a reunion or reintegration after a deployment.”

2014-2015 Military-Teen Adventure Camp opportunities include:

·         Big South Fork whitewater canoeing and backpacking expedition– May 15-18 in Stearns. Activities include whitewater canoeing, camping, exploring sandstone bluffs and learning backcountry cooking. Availability: 20 slots (10 parent/child teams).

·         Red River Gorge rock climbing, rappelling and canopy excursion– June 6-9 in Campton. Parents and their teens will rock climb and rappel in the Red River Gorge. Participants will soar through the tree canopy on ziplines at speeds up to 55 mph at 300 feet over the gorge. Availability: 24 slots (12 teams).

·         Whitewater rafting and outdoor quest– July 8-23 in Oakhill, W.Va. Activities include whitewater rafting, ziplining, mountain biking, horseback riding, mud/water pit challenges and lakeside activities. Availability: 30 slots (15 teams).

·         Ultimate Green River paddling and caving adventure – Aug. 15-18 at Mammoth Cave National Park. Events include flat water canoeing, caving, zipline/canopy and sky bridge adventure, coastal camping and backcountry cooking. Availability: 20 slots (10 teams).

·         Wounded warrior family excursion– Aug. 29-31 at the Center for Courageous Kids in Scottsville. This camp is for military families caring for a wounded warrior. Activities include participation in an equestrian program, archery, bowling, swimming, climbing wall, team-building activities, campfire program, hayride and canoeing/boating. Availability: 60 slots (up to 30 families).

·         The great equestrian challenge– Sept. 12-14 at the Life Adventure Center in Versailles. Activities include horseback riding, vaulting, horsemanship, trail riding, horse care and grooming and unmounted equestrian team building initiatives. Availability: 30 slots (15 teams).

·         Extreme wilderness survival outdoor expedition – Oct. 24-26 at the Land Between the Lakes in Golden Pond. Events include trapping, foraging, fishing, shelter building, fire starting, navigation, water purification, outdoor cooking, camping and hiking. Availability: 24 slots (12 teams).

·         Intense winter wilderness survival primitive skills – Jan. 16-18 at the Life Adventure Center. Activities include primitive wilderness survival, flint knapping (the process of chipping away material from high silica stones like "flint" in a carefully controlled manner with special tools to build arrowheads), bow building workshop, archery skills instruction and more. Availability: 24 slots (12 teams).

·         Snowshoe Mountain ski and snow adventure– Jan. 29-Feb. 2 in Elkins, W. Va. Events include downhill skiing, snow tubing, snowboarding and a snowmobile tour. Availability: 50 slots (25 teams).

·         Whitewater rafting, climbing, rappelling and outdoor expedition – April 24-27, 2015 in Ocoee Retreat Center, Ocoee, Tenn. The agenda includes whitewater rafting, rock climbing and rappelling, paintball competition, team building, and high ropes course adventure. Availability: 30 slots (15 teams).

Spaces are quickly filling in all camps. To sign up, visit http://www.lifeadventurecenter.org/go/218/for-veterans-and-the-military.html.


Kerri Ashurst, 859-257-3032