Having a parent deployed overseas can be very tough for kids. But there's a camp that is really making a difference in those kids lives.
Mackenzie and Anna are 10 year's old. They both have dad's in the military, who are often deployed, and they say that can be tough.
Anna said, "It’s kind of sad, he’s doing his part, and we’re doing our part."
Mackenzie said, "I’m more of the daddy’s girl and we don’t get to see him that often.
And that's why there's a summer camp program that was created for military kids like them. The program is called Operation Purple and it's sponsored by the Sierra Club and Sierra Club Foundation.
Kids who have parents deployed overseas get to come to the camp for free. There are facilities all across the country that hold these camps, the 4-H Center in Columbia is one of those.
Camp Director Lee Scripture said, "When your parent is deployed to a war zone I think that adds a whole new level of worry for a child, so I think it’s even more vitally important that a child can come out and realize that there are other children who have the same worries and fears that I do and that we can come here for week and we can talk about it, and make new friends and we can have a good time and forget about things."
And many campers like Anna and Mackenzie agree. Mackenzie said, "It helps me stop worrying about my dad so much overseas."
Kids get to do all types of activities, from swimming, to rock climbing, to swinging. They also can talk to each other about what it's like dealing with the parents who are gone.
Campers said they make a lot of new friends, and think this has been a great experience.