The Operation Purple program was created in 2004 to fill a need identified by military parents to “help us help our kids.” The mission of the Operation Purple program is to empower military children and their families to develop and maintain healthy and connected relationships, in spite of the current military environment. We do this through a variety of means, including the healing and holistic aspect of the natural world. The program is joint or “purple”-encompassing all Service branches, including the National Guard and Reserve.

In the 2004 Operation Purple pilot season, the National Military Family Association was able to implement 12 different Operation Purple camps serving close to 1,000 children. Since then the Operation Purple program has grown and expanded and by summer’s end close to 30,000 military children and teens will have been served. The Operation Purple program also includes leadership camps for teens, family retreats at the national parks, and camps geared to address the needs of childrenand families of our nations wounded service members.

Teen Leadership Camps: Operation Purple Leadership Camps are geared toward military children ages 15-17 who have shown an ability and willingness to lead and mentor in their respective military and civilian communities. Our Leadership Camps strive to create strong teen leaders by giving them the tools needed to develop self-confidence and the opportunity to test their strengths and abilities.

Each camp provides a unique environment for teens to receive leadership experience in the outdoors. Please refer to our complete list of camp locations, our program FAQs, eligibility requirements, and our required Community Service Project to see if this camp experience is for you.

For more information on Operation Purple and/or the Teen Leadership Camps please go to