CRANSTON, RI – The National Military Family Association (NMFA) announced today that the RI National Guard Child and Youth Program was chosen to host a popular “Operation Purple” Summer Camp in 2007. NMFA developed this free summer camp program in response to the need for increased support for military children, especially those whose parents are or will be deployed. The RI National Guard Child and Youth Program will join a select list of dedicated teams to host more than 3,500 deserving children at camps in 26 states.

“NMFA is excited to welcome the R.I. National Guard Child and Youth Program as partner in this very worthwhile program,” said Tanna Schmidli, NMFA Chairman of the Board/CEO. “We look forward to working together to indeed, make a difference in these children’s lives.”

Operation Purple Camp Rhode Island will be held July 8 to July 14 at Camp Fogarty in East Greenwich. articipants must be between the ages of 9 and 12.

Tentative activities for this year’s program will include off site trips such as a beach trip, community service project, participation in teamwork activities, as well as typical summer camp activities such as singing, games, arts and crafts, sports, et cetera.

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In addition, participants will learn basic military drill and ceremony, they will sleep in military barracks, eat in a military dining hall, march, do PT, and sing cadences. They also will participate in training and discussions pertaining to parental deployments and other issues that specifically affect the well-being of the military child.

They will come away from this program with a better understanding of the role of their family member who is serving in the military.

Each camp is “purple,” meaning it is open to children of any member of the uniformed services, including the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the U.S. Public Health Service, and the National Guard and Reserve.

The National Military Family Association is the only national organization whose sole focus is the military family and whose goal is to influence the development and implementation of policies that will improve the lives of the families of the seven uniformed services. For more than 35 years, its staff and volunteers, comprised mostly of military family members, have built a reputation for being the leading experts on military family issues. Visit www.nmfa.org for more information

The Rhode Island National Guard Child and Youth Program strives to support the families of all service members in Rhode Island regardless of branch of service. Its mission is to support the emotional, social and academic needs of Rhode Island military children and youth. The program staff works closely with parents, educators and community youth organization leaders to provide resources and referral to members of the community who work to support and improve the lives of military children and youth.

For more information, e-mail Laura Paton, the State Youth Coordinator, at laura.paton@us.army.mil.