VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. –
More than 55 children of Virginia National Guard Soldiers and Airmen enjoyed the 17th annual Virginia National Guard Youth Camp July 24-29, 2022, at the State Military Reservation in Virginia Beach, Virginia.
The weeklong camp, which is free to those attending, is run by Virginia National Guard Family Programs, Child and Youth Programs and a dedicated group of teen and adult volunteers. Campers came from across the state to stay the week enjoying educational activities, team building exercises, displays from National Guard units and local first responders, a flag retirement ceremony, an afternoon at the beach and trips to the Virginia Aquarium and Nauticus.
The Virginia Army National Guard Recruiting and Retention Battalion provided campers with a variety of fun activities, including pedal cars and a bounce house.
Representatives from Winchester STARBASE Academy conducted science and technology activities with the campers. STARBASE is a Department of Defense educational program, sponsored by the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs where students participate in challenging activities in science, technology, engineering and math.
Members of the Virginia National Guard’s Fort Pickett-based 34th Civil Support team offered campers a look at their technology. The 34th CST supports first responders during potential hazardous materials incidents involving possible chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear or explosive threats and can identify unknown substances, assess current and projected consequences, advise an incident commander on response measures and assist with requests for additional state support.
Representatives from the Virginia Beach Police Department and the Virginia Beach Fire Department also visited camp to speak to campers and demonstrate their equipment.
“It was so great to have everyone back in person this year," said Teresa Merritt, director of VNG Family Programs. "I am grateful for the time spent with these youth, teen volunteers and our adult volunteers. It is an amazing experience to see the connections being made at all levels and the amount of dedication our volunteers have. Lifelong friendships and memories are made here.”
In addition to this summer camp Virginia National Guard Youth Program hosted the "Camp On The Move!" event this summer. “Camp On The Move!” was a series of single day, camp-style events at different 4-H Center locations across the state. The last camp took place on Aug. 20 at the Jamestown 4H Center in Williamsburg, Virginia, and offered National Guard Youth the opportunity to build resiliency and connect with their peers while engaging in activities such as canoeing, high rope and low rope courses, archery and so much more.
The program is looking forward to next year's camp and expanding its programs.
You can join them on social media at Facebook: www.facebook.com/VAGuardFamilyPrograms , www.facebook.com/VANGYouthPro and instagram at vaguardfamilyprograms & vangyouthpro.