Operation Purple Camp serves military children

Jun 7, 2012

Children of service men and women are getting a crash course in leadership thanks to Purdue’s Military Family Research Institute (MFRI).

Operation Purple Camp invites kids for activities like judo, grasshopper dissection, and cooking, all with a focus on building leadership skills.

Leah Rivera traveled from Chicago to participate in the camp.

"We need to use teamwork and some of the leadership skills we [learned], and it was a lot of fun. I've met a lot of new friends and done many activities I haven't tried before."

Organizer Bonnie Blankenship believes it’s been a positive experience for campers, including a scavenger-hunt race held Thursday morning.

"It was fun for them to try to find these places and then do the challenges and work together. Plus, they could ask anybody on campus how to get to these places, if they knew where they were. And so that helped them, especially some of them kind of get out of their shell a little bit."

Along with promoting leadership, the camp’s goal is to bring kids from military families together and let them interact and share experiences. Nearly 50 kids between the ages of 12 and 17 are attending the program through Saturday.

Purdue's Department of Health and Kinesiology and the National Military Family Association, along with MFRI, sponsored the camp.