Forty-nine youth ages 8-18 spent a week at White Memorial Camp, near Council Grove, enjoying the great outdoors as participants in the Kansas National Guard’s Operation Kids-Teen Camp, July 24-28. The campers were all dependents of Kansas Army and Air National Guard Soldiers and Airmen.
Of the 49 campers, 44 had attended the camp in previous years, a testament to the popularity of the event. And it was a bittersweet week for at least one camper.
“Camp this year was special to me as it was my last Kids-Teen Camp,” said Jaida Wohletz, KSARNG Teen Council. “I got to meet new friends and better my relationships with my old friends. Kids-Teen Camp is one activity that I will really miss.”
For those first-time campers, measures were taken to ensure they got into the spirit of things.
“For first-time campers, we usually inform our Teen Council members so our teens can make sure during free time or games the first-time campers are being active and having fun,” said Keven Courtney, Child and Youth Program lead coordinator.
And there are plenty of opportunities to make sure that happens.
“On a typical day, the campers wake up at 7:30 a.m. for breakfast at 8 a.m.,” said Courtney. “After breakfast they go into group rotations.”
The rotations include such activities such as archery, lake time, low ropes course, high ropes course, zip line, and team building games. Courtney said one of the most popular activities is prairie surfing, where a tractor pulls the campers around on a rubber belt.
“After rotations comes lunch at 12:30, followed by Cabin Free Time,” said Courtney. “Cabins are allowed to choose any activity they’d like to spend more time at.
“After free time is camp swimming -- campers get to swim everyday -- then camp games from 4 to 5:30 and dinner at 5:30. In the evening, they have a reflective time on the day followed by a nighttime activity and lights out at 10.”
Courtney said he is already looking forward to next year’s camp.
“We are excited to start our planning for Operation Kids-Teen Camp 2024 and we know that White Memorial will be hosting us again,” he said. “It’s nice knowing that for the next few years we are able to call White Memorial Camp our home. Once we have a date set for 2024, we will be able to push out a Save the Date with the camp registration coming out closer to the camp date.
“The best place to get the link and any other updates about upcoming events is on our Facebook page at www.Facebook.com/kngyouth.”