Raleigh, N.C., Oct. 2, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Camp Corral, a free summer camp for children of wounded, disabled or fallen military service members, served 3,200 children at 20 camps in 16 states this summer. While the number of children the nonprofit organization was able to serve increased 45 percent from last year, all camps were filled to capacity and thousands of children had to be waitlisted.
In total, there were 5,609 camper applications submitted to Camp Corral this year. While all children ages 8 to 15 from military families are eligible to attend Camp Corral, priority registration is given to children of wounded, disabled or fallen military service members. This year, 74 percent of the campers were from priority families. Of those who applied, 2,409 military children were waitlisted, demonstrating the increased demand from military families for opportunities for their children to have fun, just be kids, and connect with peers who have similar family situations.
"Camp Corral just finished a very successful summer in which we were able to serve thousands of military children and their families across the country," said Betsey Fortlouis, executive director of Camp Corral. "Even though we were able to give this opportunity to more than 3,000 children from 39 states, there were nearly as many children who were placed on a waitlist. Our goal is to continue to grow and to provide the chance for more military children to have the week of a lifetime and escape the stresses of military life, but this will only be possible with increased support from individuals, partner organizations and corporate sponsors."
A post-camp survey distributed to camper parents this year revealed positive findings: 99 percent of respondents said they would recommend Camp Corral to others, and 97 percent said their camper made a new friend. The survey also revealed the top three proudest accomplishments of campers were making new friends, learning how to shoot a bow and arrow, and swimming.
Survey comments from camper parents were also very positive. One parent wrote, "This camp has truly been a blessing for my son and has allowed him to meet other kids going through similar experiences. Knowing and meeting other kids like him has been the best possible experience he could have had." Another parent stated, "To say thank you isn't sufficient. My son needed this time with other military kids to not worry about the things that only military kids have to deal with. He had so much fun and wants to go back as soon as he can."
With so many children waitlisted, Camp Corral staff and board members are focusing their efforts on raising additional funds and building partnerships that may help increase the number of campers the organization can serve in the future. For more information and to learn more about Camp Corral and registration for next summer, visit www.campcorral.org. For information about ways to support the organization, visit www.campcorral.org/donate.
About Camp Corral
Camp Corral, a 501 (c) (3) tax-exempt, nonprofit corporation, is a free, one-of-a-kind summer camp for children of wounded, disabled or fallen military service members. Since its founding in 2011 by Golden Corral, Camp Corral has grown to 20 camps in 16 states and has served more than 7,000 children. Although any child ages 8 to 15 from a military family is eligible, registration priority is given to children of wounded, disabled or fallen military service members. For more information, visit www.campcorral.org.
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