Operation Purple Family Published Feb. 7, 2010 By Julie Morency 146AW Channel Islands Air National Guard Station, Calif -- Posted 1/27/2010 Updated 1/29/2010 Email story Print story The National Military Family Association is sponsoring free, four-day family retreats created to help families reconnect after deployment. Operation Purple(r) Family Retreats are designed to bring families together for four days in a national park setting. With an emphasis on environmental education, military families will participate in fun, family-focused activities that will allow them to strengthen and renew relationships while exploring their natural surroundings. Operation Purple Family Retreat participants will be paired with highly specialized field science educators who will guide families through various activities such as nature hikes, canoeing, campfires, beach exploration, arts and crafts, and challenge activities. Families will have opportunities to communicate, work as a team, and to reconnect while exploring and learning about the environment. In addition, Families Over Coming Under Stress (FOCUS), a resiliency-building program designed for military families and children facing the challenges of multiple deployments by a team from UCLA and Harvard Medical School, have designed activities which highlight areas of strength and resilience in the family and promote family growth. Families will work together to strengthen their relationship through a variety of activities designed to complement the retreat environment and experience. The Headlands Institute, Sausalito, Calif.: February 12 - 15, 2010 The Headlands Institute is a private nonprofit organization that offers environmental education opportunities and conference facilities in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area near San Francisco. http://yni.org/main/ The Teton Science School, Jackson, Wyo.: March 19 - 23, 2010 Teton Science Schools are a private, 501(c)(3) non-profit educational organization, operating year-round in Jackson Hole, Wyoming in partnership with Grand Teton National Park and as a permittee of the Bridger-Teton National Forest. http://www.tetonscience.org. These retreats are open to service members and their families who have experienced deployment within the last 15 months. To be eligible for consideration to attend these retreats, service members must have returned from deployment no less than three months or no more than 15 months prior to the start date of each retreat. Families who attend will receive a $200 stipend per family upon arrival to the retreat site to cover cost of travel. The retreats are free thanks to support from the Sierra Club and the Sierra Club Foundation. Interested families should visit http://www.militaryfamily.org/our-programs/operation-purple/family-retreats/ for further information or to apply.