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Washington National Guard kids go to camp

Camp Seymour near Gig Harbor hosts 100 lucky kids

SUMMER FUN: A Washington National Guard Airman holds up a hula-hoop for campers during this year’s WANGY Summer Camp at Camp Seymour in Gig Harbor. Gary Lott

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Where's the best place for National Guard youth to have fun in the sun with creamed corn, oatmeal, mud, a slip-and-slide, hula-hoop-holding Air Guardsmen and a maze all in the same activity?

WANGY Warrior Dash at WANGY West Summer Camp, of course.

The Washington Air and Army National Guard Youth (WANGY) program conducted its 2012 WANGY West Summer Camp last week at the YMCA Camp Seymour near Gig Harbor. WANGY held its East Side Summer Camp near Spokane two weeks earlier in August with 150 campers.

WANGY is a program under the Joint Services Support Directorate of the Washington National Guard that specifically serves and supports the youth of Washington National Guardsmen.

This year WANGY West boasted more than 100 youth, who participated in many amazing events and activities over five days.

First, campers participated in a youth-style deployment line on Camp Murray, where they signed in, received their deployment materials (backpack, water canteen, T-shirt, etc.), were briefed with safety information and then deployed (departed) to camp.

While at camp, children teamed up in different flights and enjoyed the activity of camp, including a rock wall, heated swimming pool, boating, archery and a variety of other activities with their fellow campers. Camp Seymour's reptile and sea creature area give campers an opportunity to learn about different animals. 

"Our goal is to have the youth build resilient youth, while also helping them to build relationships with other military youth," said WANGY Program Director Robbin Seeberger. "National Guard youth are challenged with not always knowing who the other military kids are at their school or in their community. (The) WANGY Program opportunities give the kids an opportunity to connect with others from all across the state of Washington."

From morning retreat until campfire, the days are filled with many activities that which many will now have as life-long memories. One thing can be said for sure; WANGY Camp gave these National Guard Youth the opportunity to meet many new friends, all while enjoying all kinds of different fun-filled activities.

For more information on youth programs for National Guard youth, please contact Robbin Seeberger (Lead Child & Youth Program Coordinator-HPSC Contractor) at (253) 512-7985 or Zach Bonta (Child & Youth Program Coordinator-HPSC Contractor) at (509) 532-2848.

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