Thursday, June 5, 2008

Children, Parents of Soldiers Deployed to Camp Gold

Children, Parents of Soldiers Deployed to Camp Gold

Nonprofit organization seeks to strengthen family bonds for at-risk military families
MEDIA ADVISORY, June 3 /Christian Newswire/ -- There's a new type of deployment being carried out this summer. That is the deployment of military kids (whose parents are deployed overseas) and their grandparents to Camp Gold in Florissant, CO. From June 16-20, 2008, the Christian Grandparenting Network (CGN) will operate a week-long camp designed to strengthen the bond between children and grandparents of military families, toward the goal of equipping grandparents to help children cope with the long-term absence of their parents. Camp costs are being covered by Christian Grandparenting Network donors.

"Being separated from parents makes any child anxious," notes CGN Executive Director Cavin Harper. "But when those parents are away for lengthy periods and in dangerous situations, the child is faced with unique struggles. Children of military personnel face the fear of whether their parents will return from deployment, and they struggle with feelings of abandonment, aloneness and the sense that no one really understands." Harper says that serious family conflicts and relational adjustments often arise due to deployments, and younger children rarely receive the attention and help they require.

Even though the military offers programs for families affected by deployment, there are few that focus on the issues faced by grade school children.

"The Christian Grandparenting Network is an organization which promotes inter-generational ministry and challenging individuals to finish their life race well," says Harper. "CGN believe that grandparents can play an important role in laying a foundation of resiliency and being a part of the healing process for their grandchildren." Harper notes that Camp Gold has been received with excitement by the military, with chaplains enthusiastically supporting this camp as an important step in meeting the needs of grade school children whose parents are deployed by the military.

Camp Gold is based on the curriculum developed by Dr. James Gambone, of Points of View Incorporated with the special needs of military kids in mind. Harper says that the Christian Grandparenting Network has integrated the important grandparent relationship into Dr. Gambone's specialized curriculum, believing that combining the two elements will raise the effectiveness of this unique camp experience.

Harper admits, "The hardest part isn't teaching the kids; it's finding the kids for camp. There's no central gathering place for kids like this, and that's why Camp Gold is so important." Grandparents of military children with deployed parents may contact Harper by visiting www.grandcamps. org.

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