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NEWS | Aug. 25, 2021

Virginia Guard Youth Program wraps up summer with both in-person, virtual events

By Staff Reports

The Virginia National Guard Youth Program had a busy and fulfilling summer with National Guard youth at a series of single day, camp-style events as well as a virtual, week-long summer camp, according to Cierra Hall, lead child and youth coordinator for the Virginia National Guard.

"Camp on the Move!" was a series of single-day events hosted at 4-H centers throughout the summer in Virginia Beach, Wakefield, Appomattox, Roanoke, and Jamestown and focused on building connections and resilience among Virginia National Guard youth.

“At these events youth engaged in activities such as archery, low-ropes courses, fishing, canoeing, wilderness survival trainings, and team building activities,” Hall said. “They were given opportunities to build skills in mental toughness, leadership, and collaboration.”

At some of the most recent day camps, campers received back-to-school materials to help prepare for the upcoming year.

Additionally, the Youth Program hosted a week-long virtual camp for the second summer in a row. After the pandemic forced them cancel the annual camp in Virginia Beach in 2020, they made preparations to conduct it virtually. That experience was repeated this summer with a week-long virtual camp that explored math, science and art through fun, interactive activities and games. 

The Virtual Camp, which ran from July 26-30, 2021, utilized a combination of private Facebook Group live streams, group video calls, and a mailed camp box full of camp supplies and materials for all the group projects they would be doing throughout the week. This was able to bring together campers all around the state in the comfort and safety of their own home.

“Virginia National Guard Youth Programs is all about supporting our youth, learning, growing and connecting. These events were a great way for our National Guard youth to connect through common experiences, build lasting friendships, develop resilience, and just have some fun,” said Teresa Merritt, state Family Program director. “We have a dedicated staff that hopes to grow the program and bring in even more youth to these events. We are certainly looking forward to get back to an in-person summer camp in 2022!"

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