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Kids connect, gain life skills at Operation: Military Kids summer camp

WelcomeHome.jpgMedia Contact: Catherine Dehdashti, University of Minnesota Extension, 612-625-0237,

ST. PAUL, Minn. (3/30/2011) —Military kids and families from around the state are invited to attend Operation: Military Kids camp this summer. There are currently approximately 17,000 kids in Minnesota who are affected by having a family member deployed.

Operation: Military Kids will offer eight opportunities for youth and families to attend camp this summer. Camps are delivered by University of Minnesota Extension's 4-H program and other partners to help youth understand the deployment process, cope with the stress of a deployment, build communication skills valuable for a homecoming, and connect with other Military youth. There is no tuition to attend, but a low program fee will cover the cost of camp t-shirts and other minor expenses.

"Our intent is to give kids tools to cope with different stages of deployment," said Michele VanDyke, a 4-H program manager and Operation: Military Kids camp director. "They also get to connect with other kids who are going through the same experiences."

Memories made at summer camps last a lifetime, and so do the skills learned. Youth will participate in traditional outdoor camping activities like swimming, canoeing and campfires while building valuable life skills like communication, team work, and critical thinking.

Registration information is available by going to Click on State Information, then MN and you will find it under the News/Events section. People with questions about Operation: Military Kids camps should contact Michele VanDyke at (507) 337-2811 or

Operation: Military Kids camp dates and locations:
For grades 4-12:
• July 11-14 University of Minnesota, St. Paul
• July 25-28 University of Minnesota, Morris

For families with youth grades K-12
• June 17-19 YMCA Camp Cormorant, Lake Park
• Aug. 12-14 Ironwood Springs Ranch, Stewartville
• Aug. 26-28 Camp Lebanon, Upsala
• June 17 Voyageur Environmental Center, Mound
• July 23 Prairie Woods Environmental Center, Spicer
• Aug. 6 Hartley Nature Center, Duluth

About Operation: Military Kids camps
Operation: Military Kids camps are an Operation: Military Kids program delivered by University of Minnesota Extension's 4-H program in partnership with American Legion, Minn. Dept. of Education, Boys and Girls Clubs of America, MN Child Care Resource & Referral Network, Army Reserve, National Guard, and youth. For more information, contact Michele VanDyke at (507) 337-2811.

Media Contact: Catherine Dehdashti, U of M Extension, (612) 625-0237,

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