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EFMP camp raffles 13 cabin getaways at JBLM

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When you think "summer camp," bingo and karaoke might not be the first thoughts that come to mind. But at Joint Base Lewis-McChord's 2012 Army Community Services Exceptional Family Member Program Camp, those activities and more will be available for program participants and their families.

"There's so much for all ages, so there's not really anyone just sitting around," EFMP Systems Navigator and camp coordinator Timmy Milligan said of past events.

The camp, which is an annual event, offers Exceptional Family Members and their families from all branches of the military a day of fun on American Lake. Thirteen families will also be able to spend the night, free of charge, in the facilities' cabins.

It has a lot of the traditional aspects of camp. There are group meals, crafts. s'mores and plenty of time by the water - particularly fitting with this year's theme, "Pirates of American Lake." As in past years, campers will go fishing and enjoy boat rides.

Most of the camp activities are scheduled for Aug. 18, with meals the evening before and morning after for overnight campers. In past years, the limited number of cabins were available to families interested in staying overnight only on a first come, first served basis. Now, for the first time, interested families will enter a raffle to see who will stay for the weekend, giving those who did not have the opportunity to register early an even chance.

So far, 177 people (101 kids from 41 families) have registered to attend the camp.

For the most part, though, the day is all about relaxing with family in a judgment-free space. All the activities are designed so that EFMs, no matter their condition, can access and enjoy them. If there is an issue, families won't have to worry about whether or not their child's needs might cause a scene.

"I think it makes them feel comfortable," Milligan said.

How to register

The last day to register for EFMP Camp is July 31. Registration packets can be obtained in person at the Army Community Services office in Waller Hall or online on the ACS EFMP Facebook page at, and returned either in person or via email.

Families that would like to stay overnight may choose to enter the raffle for the free cabin accommodations. Thirteen cabins are available.

For more information, call 967-9097.

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