Children of Virginia Guard Soldiers, Airmen enjoy 7th annual Youth Camp

Sgt. 1st Class Douglas Perry, a member of the Virginia National Guard Counterdrug Task Force’s Civil Operations program, speaks to campers at the seventh annual Virginia National Guard Youth Camp July 30 – Aug. 3 at Camp Pendleton in Virginia Beach about the dangers of substance abuse. (Photo by Sgt. 1st Class A.J. Coyne, Virginia Guard Public Affairs)

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — More than 100 children of Virginia National Guard members participated in the seventh annual Virginia National Guard Youth Camp July 30- Aug. 3, 2012 at Camp Pendleton in Virginia Beach. The week-long camp featured a wide variety of outdoor and indoor activities, including presentations from military and civilian organizations.

Children of Virginia National Guard members participate in the seventh annual Virginia National Guard Youth Camp July 30- Aug. 3 at the State Military Reservation in Virginia Beach. (Photo by Sgt. 1st Class A.J. Coyne, Virginia Guard Public Affairs)

The campers included 63 kids between the ages of 8-12 and 38 teens between the ages of 13-17. In addition to a week of outdoor activities and arts & crafts fun, the campers spent time in the sun at the beach and traveled to Busch Gardens in Williamsburg for a day of fun.

This year’s camp marked a lot of firsts for the Virginia Guard Youth Camp, according to Drew Davis, director of youth programs for the Virginia National Guard. This included their first military day, which featured a humvee and howitzer from the 1st Battalion, 111th Field Artillery and a UH-60 Black Hawk from the 2nd Battalion, 224th Aviation.

Sgt. 1st Class Douglas Perry, a member of the Virginia National Guard Counterdrug Task Force’s Civil Operations program, spoke to campers about the dangers of substance abuse and a team from the Virginia Army National Guard’s Recruiting and Retention Battalion visited with a couple of pedal carts which the campers used to race each other.

The kids also had their first flag retirement ceremony with every camper playing a part in retiring two U.S. flags.

“The youth of the Virginia National Guard have never had an opportunity at camp to get a real insight on not only the military side of what their parents and relatives do but also an overall sense of real patriotism and pride on both a local and national level. It was very moving,” Davis said.


To view photos from this event, visit:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/vaguardpao/sets/72157630871660998/