MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan — “Hello Muddah, hello Faddah …”

Yep, summer camp is just around the corner, but there’s still time to apply for two overnight camping programs, one near Okinawa’s beaches and one in Pennsylvania’s mountains.

Pacific Air Forces is funding an activity-packed camp at Okuma Joint Services Recreational Center on Okinawa from July 10-14. Two children, ages 9 to 18, will be selected from each PACAF base to attend, according to PACAF officials. Each base’s application deadline varies, but generally they must be submitted between Thursday and June 2. Applications are available at each PACAF youth center.

“PACAF wanted to give teens the opportunity to network with other peers, see other cultures and experience the outdoors,” said Kathleen Hartwell, PACAF Family Member Programs branch chief, in a written response.

Held at Okuma Joint Services Recreational Center on northern Okinawa and at Kadena Air Base’s Teen Center, activities will include camping, field trips to Higi Falls and Ocean Expo Aquarium, team-building games, physical training, a teen center “lock-in,” a tea ceremony and washi art.

PACAF received funds from the Air Force to pay for the camp, Hartwell wrote. Transportation to and from camp, lodging, meals — just about everything is paid for: “There will be no cost to the youth, other than souvenirs or food they purchase on their own,” she said. Hartwell didn’t say how much the camp cost but noted it’s probably a one-time opportunity for PACAF kids. “It is not likely in today’s funding picture that these funds will be available again,” she wrote.

The PACAF Family Members Program flight will select applicants. To be considered, candidates must be active participants in “FitFactor,” the new Air Force youth fitness program, having reached at least the “Energy” level. Kadena’s Family Members Program flight is sponsoring the camp.

Another camp in Pennsylvania is open to children ages 9 to 15 from military families around the world. The owners of Camp Island Lake in the Pocono Mountains want to support the military by providing each of the military services five spaces in the camp, according to Air Force officials.

Camp tuition will be provided at no cost, though parents are responsible for transportation to and from the camp; a bus will pick up flying campers at Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey.

Camp dates are Aug. 2-15; applications are available at base youth centers and are due by Thursday. To apply, a child must have a parent currently deployed or one who has been deployed in the past six months.

Camp activities include mountain biking, circus techniques, skateboarding, dance, pioneering, gymnastics, science, theater, horseback riding, water sports, music and more. More information about the camp can be found at:

Don’t want to leave? Misawa lines up summer day camps, too

MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan — From crafts to cooking, Misawa children staying close to home this summer can sign up for various day camps and field trips through the Lunney Youth Center. Most activities are free. Spaces are limited, with priority given to youth center members, said Kayline Hamilton, the center’s director. Registration will likely be held for two weeks after June 5, he said.

Archery camp kicks off the fun June 26-30, and is one of several Air Force-sponsored programs at Misawa this summer. Children and teenagers ages 9 to 18 can choose from two daily sessions. An eight-hour coach’s certification course in archery for adults also will be offered during the same time period after duty hours, Hamilton said.

Other camps on tap throughout June, July and August include cheerleading, bowling, tennis, skateboarding, basketball, computer and golf. From July 31 to Aug. 4, the Air Force is sponsoring an enrichment camp for ages 5 to 18 that includes hands-on science activities and arts and crafts. The Missoula Children’s Theater camp for kids ages 6 and up will be Aug. 7-11. A “Junior NBA” camp for kids 9 to 12 is planned for July 27; it’s free to youth center members, $10 for nonmembers.

Other programs slated but not scheduled yet, Hamilton said, include another science camp, pottery, drama and more gymnastics. The youth center also will be sponsoring local field trips every Tuesday and Friday throughout the summer.

For more information about the summer camp program, call Hamilton or Kimberly Alston at DSN 226-3220.

— Jennifer H. Svan

author picture
Jennifer reports on the U.S. military from Kaiserslautern, Germany, where she writes about the Air Force, Army and DODEA schools. She’s had previous assignments for Stars and Stripes in Japan, reporting from Yokota and Misawa air bases. Before Stripes, she worked for daily newspapers in Wyoming and Colorado. She’s a graduate of the College of William and Mary in Virginia.

Sign Up for Daily Headlines

Sign-up to receive a daily email of today’s top military news stories from Stars and Stripes and top news outlets from around the world.

Sign up