SALUTE THE KIDS
Salute the Kids is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization that provides free weekend camping adventures for children of United States military service members. Today, nearly 2 million United States military kids live throughout the world. The life of a military child has changed dramatically as deployments and the reliance on Reserve and National Guard members have increased substantially. Now, more than ever, military kids need support. Salute the Kids believes it's important to recognize military children for their service to our country and to support them by providing a fun-filled and therapeutic camping experience that will change their lives in a positive way, help them develop coping skills, increase resiliency and self confidence while embracing the beauty and healing components of nature.
"Nature is often overlooked as a healing balm for the emotional hardships in a child's life."-Richard Louv
Check out our 2021 Tennessee Family Camp video!
"My husband has been deployed for a long time and this camp gave my kids and I the opportunity to reconnect, bond and to have fun together." -Military Parent
"The whole weekend was a blast! The kids loved the trail rides and crafts." -Military Parent
"Family Camp has saved my relationship with my children and for that I am eternally grateful!"
"This camp enabled us to shut off from the world and simply focus on our family." -Military Parent
Salute the Kids provides Family Camps for military kids and their families. Our vision behind Family Camp is one where military families come together for a weekend of reconnection and togetherness while focusing on the kids and appreciating their efforts and sacrifices for our country!
Salute the Kids Family Camp is designed to disconnect from the daily grind and reconnect as a family in a beautiful camp setting. It's a time for the family to try new things together, be brave, relax, enjoy the healing of nature and create unforgettable memories that will help carry them through deployments, relocations and other challenges military life might bring. Most of all, Salute the Kids Family Camp is a time for military kids to feel appreciated and supported. It's a special weekend just for them and their family!
In order to submit an application to attend Family Camp, your family must meet the following requirements.
1. Each family must have a parent/guardian that is a Service Member of the United States Armed Forces.
2. Each family must have at least one child in the family that is between the ages of 6 and 18.
3. Each family must be able to provide your their transportation to and from camp.
Salute the Kids Family Camp is full of amazing opportunities that promote independence and team building, risk taking, bravery, communication and a sense of adventure. Kids have the chance to ride a horse for the first time, brave the zip line or run the family obstacle course with their family! Our Camp Program offers unique arts and crafts for the kids who love glitter, glue and mess. We also offer basketball, Gaga Ball, ping-pong, frisbee golf, campfires and a family movie night filled with popcorn, candy and laughter! Camping with Salute the Kids is guaranteed to make the family smile and grow closer together!
Each camp session includes a therapeutic component presented by a certified therapist. The activities are child-focused and help in stress reduction, increasing resiliency skills and self esteem and coping positively with the challenging aspects of military life. Salute the Kids' therapeutic goal is to provide each child with a tool to take home from camp that will improve and affect their life in a positive way.
(Deployment Wall Kit Photographed - 2017 Spring Therapeutic Activity)
Deployment Wall Kits are an effective and interactive way for kids to stay connected to their military parent while they are deployed or training for an extended amount of time. Each kit comes with a world map, children's book about deployment, calendar, daddy/mommy mail envelope, clocks, weather cards and paper chain links. The kit allows children to keep track of the time and weather in their town and their deployed parents location. The calendar and paper chain allow them to visually keep track of days that have passed and days to go until their parents return and the deployment book is a great way for homebound parents to connect with their children and share their emotions. During camp, families created a family banner to be included with the kit. Military kids were able to see in a group environment that nearly all military kids and military families experience deployments and they all have similar feelings about it.
Thank you for your interest in volunteering with Salute the Kids! Your support helps us fulfill our mission to recognize and support military kids through camping adventures. Whether you're interested in preparing arts and crafts for an upcoming camp, helping at a fundraiser or volunteering at camp, we would love to have your help!
The Official Flower of the Military Child is a Dandelion. Why?
Dandelions put down roots almost anywhere and it's almost impossible to destroy. It's an unpretentious plant, yet good looking. It's a survivor in a broad
range of climates.
Military children bloom everywhere the wind carries them. They are hardy and upright. Their roots are strong, cultivated deeply in the culture of the military, planted swiftly and surely. They are ready to fly in the breezes that take them to new adventures, new lands and new friends.
Military children are well-rounded, culturally aware, tolerant and extremely resilient. They have learned from an early age that home is where their hearts are and that a good friend can be found in every corner of the world.
They learn that to survive means to adapt, that the door that closes one chapter of their life opens up to a new and exciting adventure full of friends and new experiences.
SUPPORT OUR CAMP AND MILITARY KIDS
Our goal is to expand the number of military families that attend our Family Camp each session, create awareness in our community about the unique and growing needs of military children and, in the future, open a summer camp designed specifically for military kids. We’re excited to have an overwhelming interest from the military community in our Family Camps and the prospect of a Summer Camp that focuses solely on military children. The positive change and impact we see in those who come to camp is truly priceless. Consider making a donation of any size to our camp fund and help a military child attend camp. Every cent counts!
If you would like to make a donation by cash, check or stock, please contact Sommer Houser at 817.944.2504.