Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Easing the Hearts and Minds of Military Children

By Bill Fortune

Behavioral Specialist Joe Zutell works with campers
at Camp Corral. Photo by Arnett Luce/Red Cross
The excitement was everywhere. The conversations were lively. The laughter was contagious. The noise level elevated. Kids being kids and doing what kids do best; enjoying the moment and the outdoors, renewing friendships and creating new ones. Five days of non-stop fun and excitement seemingly without a care in the world.

Camp Corral, a 501 (c) (3) non-profit corporation, offers a chance for kids to share amazing adventures in the great outdoors through archery, boating, swimming, hiking and just enjoying the fresh air and nature. It provides an opportunity for children to experience new things, make new friend, learn new skills and take risks in a safe environment. The Camp is a free summer camp for the children of wounded, disabled or fallen military members. Founded in 2011 Camp Corral has served over 6,500 children at 23 camps in 19 states.

Campers eat lunch while Red Cross facilitators prepare
for the workshop on Confident Coping. Photo by
Arnett Luce/Red Cross
This year, the American Red Cross in partnership with Camp Corral, rolled out a new Reconnection Workshop designed especially for military kids. Camp Shady Brook, a YMCA camp near Deckers, Colorado, was the first of four camps to host the workshop, Operation 10-4: Confident Coping, that teaches children essential life skills to help them better manage stressful social situation and unique challenges that they face as a military child. Certified Red Cross Behavioral Specialist presented the workshops during “cabin time” at the end of the first two days of camp.

Carol Whitlow, Behavioral Specialist works with
campers at Camp Corral on issues related to stress.
Photo by Arnett Luce/Red Cross

Betty Sullivan works with campers at Camp Corral on
issues related to family stress for military children,
Photo by Arnett Luce/Red Cross
Many times family members didn't know where the dad was going or how long he would be gone. Absences like that can be stressful to the family, especially the children. The Red Cross workshop focused on bolstering strengths that may already exist within the child. Children learn personal strengths for dealing with stress and learn the harm that can be caused by stress. They also learn how to reach out and ask for help when needed. The Red Cross will present the same workshop at three other camps this year hoping to expand to more camps in 2017.

For more information about Red Cross support for military families vist: 

For more information on Camp Corral visit:

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