ELMDALE, Kan. (KSNW) – Letting kids be kids, it is the theme at Camp Corral this week.
“I like coming here and making new friends and having fun,” said Jackson FitzPatrick, camper.
“We really focus on building friendships here at camp, pushing comfort zones, trying to you know, have kids have great times, great experiences,” said Melissa Cartner, Camp Wood.
Each summer these kids can come together and bond over activities like boating, fishing, archery, and horse-back-riding, but they share something else in common.
“My dad is a wounded warrior and he’s retired,” said FitzPatrick.
“They have to deal with things that you know, others just couldn’t fathom,” said Carter.
The kids at Camp Wood this week are there through a program called Camp Corral.
The program partners with camps across the US to host week-long sessions for children eight to 15 of wounded, disabled and fallen military service members.
“They have to grow up kinda fast sometimes in those types of families, and they have to deal with some things that are hard to deal with and just to come to camp and just be able to be kids and just you know, do kid things and play and have fun.”
They do everything the other YMCA Camp Wood programs do plus a few special additions like hero day and a fireworks show for the Fourth of July.
“I can meet new friends and have fun with other friends I’ve seen in the past.”
They support each other and spend a week together just being kids.
“I get to come here every year, and I kind of know what’s going to happen but there’s always, like, a slight surprise,” said Gabrielle Kelly, camper.
Those children attend Camp Corral for free thanks to the sponsorship of Golden Corral.
According to the program’s website, Golden Corral has raised more than $5 million for Camp Corral over the past four years.