An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

HomeNewsroomNewsArticle Display

Article - Article View

Military children storm Camp Hero

DECKERS, Colo. -- Camp Hero is a military resiliency camp, held at Camp Shady Brook in Deckers, Colo. The camp serve a two-fold purpose: to have fun and learn some basic resiliency skills. The first camp was held March 24-26 this year, and officials hope its success will serve as a benchmark for other resiliency camps across the nation. (Courtesy photo)

DECKERS, Colo. -- Camp Hero is a military resiliency camp, held at Camp Shady Brook in Deckers, Colo. The camp serve a two-fold purpose: to have fun and learn some basic resiliency skills. The first camp was held March 24-26 this year, and officials hope its success will serve as a benchmark for other resiliency camps across the nation. (Courtesy photo)

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Military children face unique challenges that set them apart from their peers. They may have to pack up their favorite toys and relocate to the other side of the world, leaving cherished friends, and start over at a new school. Military parents often work long-hours, or may miss special events such as birthdays or that first soccer goal due to lengthy deployments.

Drew Aquino, Military Outreach director from the Colorado Springs Armed Services YMCA, recognizes the sacrifices military children have to make - his father served in the U.S. Army. Aquino has a passion to serve our military community and a special place in his heart for military children. He developed a program called "Camp Hero" and will conduct a series of military resiliency camps, held at Camp Shady Brook in Deckers, Colo.

The camps serve a two-fold purpose: to have fun and learn some basic resiliency skills. The first camp was held March 24-26 this year, and Aquino hopes its success will serve as a benchmark for other resiliency camps across the nation.

Those who attended thought it was a great experience.

"(The camp) provided moments to sit back and reflect on things to be thankful for," said Master Sgt. Thomas Bryson, a resiliency training assistant from the 21st Force Support Squadron. Lessons learned at the camp directly related to the Air Force Resiliency module of "Counting Blessings." The children, ages 7-14, kept journals and opened up to one another.

"As a military member, I did not understand how my deployment affected my daughter," said Master Sgt. Walt McClung, 21st Space Wing master resiliency trainer. "This camp allowed me the opportunity to see through her eyes how military life affects her."

The camp, run by YMCA camp staff and augmented by volunteers from Peterson AFB, introduced the children to rock climbing, archery, hiking, a high ropes course, and the most essential elements, eating s'mores and singing songs around the campfire every evening.

"Every single one of the volunteers was vital to making a difference to these military children," Aquino said. "Without their support, this camp would not have been successful."

For more information or to volunteer for the next camp scheduled June 6-8, contact Beverly Price at 556-6768.

Peterson SFB Schriever SFBCheyenne Mountain SFSThule AB New Boston SFS Kaena Point SFS Maui