Deployments are difficult for U.S. military service members and their families. As a way to help service members and their teenagers reconnect and spend quality time together, the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service is offering several high-adventure camps this year.

“The Military-Extension Adventure Camps are designed to help service members and their teens come together and examine their relationship while participating in a cool adventure together,” said Lauren Smith, UK camp project coordinator in family and consumer sciences extension.

Partnering organizations include the Life Adventure Center, Devers Middle School and Teen Center and the UK Family Center.

The Kentucky camp schedules are:

•    Canoeing and Coastal Camping: June 30-July 3, Land Between the Lakes

•    Backpacking 101 and Green River Paddle Trip: July 21-24, Mammoth Cave National Park

•    Red River Gorge Backpacking and Canoeing: July 29-31, Daniel Boone National Forest

•    Wilderness Survival: Aug. 12-14, Big Bone Lick State Park

•    Challenge Course/Corn Maze: Sept. 16-18, Life Adventure Center

•    Cold Weather Camping: Dec. 2-4, Lake Cumberland

This is the first year for the high-adventure camps, which are sponsored by a grant from the Department of Defense. These camps are offered in addition to the Operation Military Kids Family Camps that are open to service members and their entire families.

The adventure camps are open to military service members from any branch on a first come, first serve basis, but priority is given to service members who have been deployed at least once. Teenagers should be between the ages of 14 and 18. While all the camps are located in the state, campers do not have to reside in Kentucky.

The camps are free of charge, and all equipment and meals are provided.

For an application packet or more information, visit the camps’ website at or contact Smith at 859-257-3072 or email