High school- and middle school-aged children of deployed troops have until Friday to register for upcoming sports camps in southern Germany.

Ground transportation to and from the camps — to be held June 16-21 — will be provided for those who wish to attend. That includes children from Vicenza, Italy, where the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team, currently deployed to Afghanistan, is based.

Children are eligible if they are in grades six through 12 for the 2007-08 school year and have a parent deployed or scheduled to deploy to Iraq or Afghanistan between June 1, 2007, and March 1, 2009. The cost is $50 per child.

The camps will include basketball, soccer, hiking and canoeing as well as mentoring on healthy living.

The camp’s site in Germany will be announced later, according to Joseph Marton, child and youth programs specialist for Installation Management Command-Europe. “This is an opportunity for [children] to meet and bond with others who are facing the same challenges,” Marton said. “Everyone who attends these camps is affected by deployment.

“It’s a chance for them to build positive relationships and keep positive relationships. We get a lot of stories from kids who attend these camps who keep the relationships up.”

The camp for grades nine through 12 is limited to 30 campers, while the middle school camp has a limit of 80. Marton said sign-ups have been good from the heavily deployed military communities of Grafenwöhr and Wiesbaden but lacking from other areas.

The camps are in addition to the July 5-12 Island Adventure and Aug. 3-8 Space Camp being offered under the program called Camp A.R.M.Y. Challenge. Those two events are filled, Marton said, but applications are still being accepted for their waiting lists.

Many installations in Germany will be offering day camps under the program in late June and July for kids in grades one through 12, including Bamberg, Heidelberg, Hohenfels, Schweinfurt, Stuttgart, Wiesbaden and Baumholder. Interested parties are asked to check with their base’s child and youth services office for specifics. For details, go to: Applications can only be submitted online.

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