LANSING, Mich. –
“This week is for kids from military families to be able to get together and relate with one another, get to know one another”, said Madison Berridge, Lead Child and Youth Program Coordinator for the Michigan National Guard. “Our military kids are not living together on a base like children of active-duty Soldiers and Airmen, they are geographically dispersed and are not able to hang out together on a regular basis. This gives them the opportunity just hang out with other kids that are like them.”
Addison Rogers, 15, of Dewitt, Mich., is a former camper and now a junior coach who said the camp is packed with amazing activities, there is never any down time, and everyone is very easy to talk to.
“Last year I got to talk a lot with others about our parents deployments,” she said. “It felt good to be able to talk with others who are going through the same things you are.” “We were able to share stories about things that military kids know about, that your other school friends may not really understand”.
Addison’s father is retired from the military, but she loves the camp so much she continues to volunteer as a junior counselor and give back her time to other kids.
Stephanie Rogers, Addison’s mother, loves that all her children go to the camp together. Two of her younger children will be attending as campers at the same time Addison is a junior counselor. “What a great opportunity for all of them to learn some life skills and get to meet other military children, hopefully making lifelong friendships,” said Stephanie.
“A lot of kids do know about the camp itself, but I don’t think as many older teens know about the opportunity to be a junior coach,” Addison said. “Being surrounded by people who are like me, being a junior coach and then eventually a coach is so fun and rewarding, I would love for more teens to get involved.”
This year’s youth leadership camp will be held 23-28 July.
For more information on the 2023 Youth Leadership Camp please go to the Michigan National Guard Child and Youth Programs Facebook page: