Air National Guard (ANG)/4-H Camps
The 4-H Air Force Partnership Project supported day camps, residential camps and family camps for youth of Air National Guard members during the summer of 2015. The purpose of the camps was twofold: 1) Expand outreach/access to youth from Air National Guard (ANG) and Air Force Reserve (AFR) families; 2) provide fun and safe camping experience in close proximity to ANG/AFR units with the purpose of helping geographically dispersed military youth develop and strengthen their resiliency and life skills and connect with other youth in similar situations. Camp program designs covered at least three of the following five elements: communication, self-efficacy, competence, relationships, and resilience.
Communication – “Good communication is essential … because it breeds positive emotions instead of negative ones. Knowing more about how to communicate clearly and with sensitivity can help … avoid problems before they start.” (Mills & Dombeck)
Self-efficacy – “Self-efficacy is the belief that one can use his/ her skills, talents, and abilities to attain a desired goal.” (Bandura)
Competence/Confidence – “The more youth master life experiences, the more they realize they can tackle new challenges and, thereby, develop genuine confidence in themselves.” (Ginsburg)
Relationships – “Youth who have positive interactions with their peers are more popular, have stronger friendships, stay in school, have healthier bodies, experience less stress and are involved more often in positive activities than children who do not.” (Ginsburg)
Resilience – “…the capacity to rise above adversity and to forge lasting strengths in the struggle. It is the means by which children/adults can rebound from hardships and emerge as strong, healthy individuals.” (Wolin & Wolin)