Children who have a loved one serving in the military face many stressors other youngsters don't. This becomes an even greater issue if their parent is killed, injured or disabled while serving overseas. In an effort to help military children cope with such challenges, Camp Corral, which operates in several states throughout the country, provides them with the chance to spend time with other youngsters facing the same obstacles, the Ocala Star Banner reports.
One of the camps is held in Florida's Ocala National Forest and gives campers the opportunity to focus on fun for several days. This summer, well over 100 campers have come to Ocala from across the Southeast, and resident director Sarah Whitfield hopes the camp can ease the stress, even if it is just for several days.
"Hopefully, they will take with them some happy memories that can help them deal with their not so good memories," Whitfield told the newspaper.
Since it first opened its doors in 2011, Camp Corral has expanded to 18 different location in 14 states. It is certainly a necessary service, especially in light of a recent survey highlighting the challenges faced by military children. The study, released by the nonprofit Child Trends, found that children who have parents on active duty face a greater risk of long-term mental strain than civilians.