Memorial Day, now observed each year on the last Monday of May, honors men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military. Many cities honor fallen veterans with parades, which are often followed by family gatherings and picnics also marking the beginning of summer.
Enter Operation 300, a non-profit that hosts adventure camps for children who have lost their fathers as a result of military service. The camps provide an opportunity to participate in activities that embody the spirit of adventure that characterized the lives of their absent fathers. Operation 300 “provides children who have lost their fathers in military combat opportunities to camp, hike, play sports, and do the fun things they would have done with their own dads with other supportive role models,” reports HooplaHa. Visit the Operation 300 website to find out more about the camps or support their mission.
What an important camp idea. We often neglect to do anything about the impact that losing a father for a child might be. When I worked at Hospice, we held a children’s camp once a year that was filled with fun camp activities as well as grief support work. The kids always had fun but important emotional work was done as well. Children grieve differently from adults, and it is important to help them acknowledge their feelings in helpful and healing ways. Operation is needed as there is much work to do from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
What an wonderful program! I have just shared this with all of my friends, many former military. Creating such good out of tremendous loss does so much to heal so many. Just look at the smiles on those kids’ faces and the hope they give to the widows. Thanks so much for bringing this to our attention!