JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The First Coast YMCA is offering free recreational activities for military-connected families this summer at no cost.
The YMCA says this is to ensure Northeast Florida servicemen, women, veterans and their families thrive within our robust military community.
Operation Hero is a free program for active-duty military children in 1st – 6th grade. The program is designed to help students cope and adjust to the unique challenges of military life, such as frequent moves and deployment separation.
This 10-week session goes through a variety of topics that create conversations around self-reflection, family and relationships, and morals and values.
Operation Hero connects a trained facilitator with a student to create a fun and safe environment for emotional expression and support.
Operation Hero Kids Camp
At Operation Hero Kids Camp, kids will make life-long friends who understand what it is like for a parent to serve in the military. Campers are encouraged to celebrate the sacrifices they make and be proud of their role as a military kid! This enrichment camp provides top-quality programming that teaches the skills needed to build emotional resilience. This camp is open to our tiny heroes ages 5-12 who have an active duty parent in the military.
- Winston Family YMCA: June 6–10 from 9 am – 12 pm
- Barco Newton YMCA: June 13–17 from 12:30 – 3:30 pm
- YMCA at Wildlight: July 18–22 from 9 am – 12 pm
Military Outdoor Adventure Hikes
In partnership with the Sierra Club, the YMCA offers military veterans the opportunity to enjoy the benefits of being outdoors together. All upcoming hikes are free for military families.
- Little Talbot Island State Park: June 17
- Hannah Park: July 15
- Losco Park: August 20
Exclusive Membership Rates
The First Coast YMCA offers exclusive membership rates for active duty members of the armed forces, veterans and their families. Applicable registrants can choose one First Coast YMCA location or get access to all locations on the First Coast at a discounted rate, saving up to $57 per month on membership fees plus a waived joining fee.
Active military families can also save up to 30% per week on Summer Day Camp and up to $225 per week on Summer Overnight Camp Immokalee.
Military Wellness Programs
Operation Strong & Ready is the Y’s new wellness program specially designed for service members to prepare themselves to operate at peak performance and pass their branch’s fitness test. This is an 8-week program – one hour, twice per week – led by certified First Coast YMCA wellness coaches and personal trainers.
For additional details and information on the First Coast YMCA’s military outreach programming, please visit https://fcymca.org/military-outreach/.