Camo Kids does ONE simple thing…

We donate a unique college “game day” experience to athletic events for the children of our military called away to active duty.

By providing an opportunity for the children of our heroes to visit a college campus and interact with administrators, coaches and athletes, we hope to lift up their spirits at a time when they need it most and inspire them academically and athletically.

All participants receive game tickets, backpacks, food, t-shirts and wristbands all FREE of charge.

Camouflage Kids is a national 501(c)(3) non-profit organization serving military families of all ranks and branches throughout the United States.

Funding for the organization is provided through the generous contributions of corporations, organizations and individuals.

 

A.S.C.E.N.D Aviation Camp – Our Kids Learning About Aviation!

162-Cessna172Skyhawk
Camouflage Kids is sponsoring an opportunity for our military children to attend the A.S.C.E.N.D. 2013 aviation camp in June at the Rowan County Airport in Salisbury, NC. Sponsored by the EAA # 1083 (http://eaa1083.com/id64.html), this will be an exciting week of learning for our kids as they will experience the dynamics of aviation with an end of the week flight with a FAA certified pilot to provide a hands-on experience in the air. Our gratitude is extended to the pilots who are donating their time and aircraft to make this a successful week for our military children.

A big-time event at the naval academy!

Midshipman Kenneth Kozinski (far left) from Granger, IN. and other future leaders of our country donated their time to Camo Kids. A wild and crazy day at the Naval Academy.

Wow!

Not much more can be said for an outstanding basketball event as Colgate and Navy squared off for a great game in Annapolis.

Camouflage Kids attracted over 600 family members from the Mid-Atlantic region for a special day at Alumni Hall on the grounds of the U.S. Naval Academy.

Highlighting the day was the welcome our families received from five Midshipmen who donated their time to distribute tickets, food vouchers, t-shirts and backsacks. Heading up the Midshipmen was Kenneth Kozinski from Granger, Indiana…..the home of Camouflage Kids. We thank them for their time and effort to put smiles on the faces of our kids.

SENIOR DAY AT CANISIUS

“Petey” – the Canisus College mascot hanging out with our kids. A new t-shirt and backsack… doesn’t get any better than this!

Over 100 military family members attended our Camouflage Kids event at Canisius College in Buffalo, N.Y.

It was another strong showing of support from our military friends in Western New York. A special thanks goes out to the athletic department at Canisius headed up by Athletic Director Bill Maher, Associate AD John Maddock, Head Coach Tom Parrotta and Allyson Clifford for their support and assistance in making it a special day.

Congratulations to the senior players for their great careers at Canisius and the exciting victory over Loyola (MD). A great day was had by all!

A Big “thank you” to the University of San Diego

Many thanks to our friends in the athletic department at USD and Brittany Catton from the San Diego Armed Services YMCA. Having fun in sunny San Diego!

It gets better every time Camouflage Kids heads west to San Diego! With our third event in the region complete, it was the largest turnout ever for a Camo Kids event and a GREAT evening was had by all.

We had over 700 military family members registered for our Pepperdine @ University of San Diego men’s basketball game and many people worked hard to make it happen.

A special thanks to our corporate sponsor VERIZON as their support was greatly appreciated!

It is with much gratitude that we thank Executive Director of Athletics Ky Snyder, Associate AD Steve Becvar, Coach Bill Grier and the USD athletic department along with Brittany Catton and the San Diego Armed Services YMCA for making this event so special for the families.

West point – a great partner to camo kids!

Dr. Ralph Pim (West Point), Army Head Football Coach Rich Ellerson and Jeff Nix (Camo Kids). We start them young at Camo Kids!

Camouflage Kids and the Army men’s and women’s basketball teams hosted 300 military family members for their games vs. archrival Navy at West Point. A great day was enjoyed by all including an opportunity to honor fourteen U.S. citizens and former Iran hostages reuniting 30 years after their release.

Fifty-two hostages were released Jan. 20, 1981, after 444 days of captivity.The hostages then touched down on U.S. soil at nearby Stewart International Airport and rode buses to this historic Hudson Valley academy on a route lined with yellow ribbons and thousands of cheering people. The hostages, unaware that Americans were closely following their ordeal for more than 14 months, were stunned by the emotional welcome.

The newly released hostages spent several days at West Point, connecting with their families and mixing with cadets.

Camouflage Kids Supports The Coach Lou Holtz Charitable Foundation

Scott Paddock (Podium Group), Jeff Nix (Camo Kids), Coach Holtz & Mike Messaglia (Krieg DeVault) University of Notre Dame ROTC

Camouflage Kids recently teamed up with former Notre Dame football coach and ESPN analyst Lou Holtz and presenting sponsor Krieg DeVault to support The Holtz Charitable Foundation. A luncheon was held at the University of Notre Sports Heritage Hall where Coach Holtz delivered his “Game Plan For Success” speech. Among those in attendance were members of the Notre Dame ROTC program. John Paxson, former Notre Dame and Chicago Bulls basketball great, donated a table to the ROTC program in honor of his son, Ryan, would currently serves our country as a proud member of the United States Marine Corps. The Holtz Charitable Foundation, a not-for-profit corporation, was organized by Lou & Beth Holtz to promote Christianity, education and charity. Grants by the Foundation have been given to many deserving charitable organizations, including Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, American Cancer Society, the University of Notre Dame, Ara Parseghian Medical Research Foundation, and vocational and technical scholarships.

Notre Dame Football Makes For An Exciting Camo Kids Day!

With compliments from an anonymous donor and the assistance of Senior Assistant Athletics Direcor Josh Berlo, the University of Notre Dame provided an exciting day of football for Camouflage Kids. Over 400 military family members enjoyed a great day in Notre Dame stadium for the Tulsa football game. We thank the Notre Dame community for their continued support for our military and their families.

University Of San Diego Hosts 600 For Camo Kids!

The University of San Diego continues to be a GREAT partner for Camouflage Kids as 600 military family members attended their men’s basketball game vs. Santa Clara. We applaud all of our friends in the San Diego area who worked so hard to make this an outstanding event.

Camo Kids Goes Back “HOME” To The Air Force Academy!

Camouflage Kids had a GREAT event at the U.S. Force Academy for their men’s basketball game vs. Wyoming…..topped off with an exciting victory for the Falcons! Five years ago, Camouflage Kids originated at the Air Force Academy in partnership with Fort Carson….what started as 4 tickets at one school has now expanded to many colleges throughout the United States and impacted thousands of military children and families.

Many thanks to Coach Jeff Reynolds, the Air Force basketball team and athletic department personnel for a memorable day for the families from the Colorado Springs area military installations. The picture below is of Rygar Schyberg, who brought a Hug-A-Hero doll to the game with the image of his father, 1st Lt. Hal Schyberg, who is OUR hero currently serving in Afghanistan.

A GREAT Day At The U.S. Naval Academy!

Billy Lange, head basketball coach at the U.S. Naval Academy, hosted Camouflage Kids for their basketball game vs. Lafayette. It was a great day for almost 300 military families. For those of you who have never visited one of our service academies – please do – as you will experience a special feeling when you see the young men and women who are the future leaders of the United States.

There is no better example of this than David Robinson, Naval Academy graduate, NBA champion and a member of the Basketball Hall of Fame. Through his commitment to academics and our youth, David founded The Carver Academy in San Antonio, Texas which has become a model for elementary schools around the globe.

Arizona’s Two Most Famous Residents Host Camo Kids!

Camouflage Kids kicked off 2010 with it’s first event at Arizona State University for their men’s basketball game vs. Washington State. Greeting our great turnout of military families were Arizona’s two most famous residents – the Phoenix Suns’ “Gorilla” and Arizona State mascot “Sparky”.

Pictures of this event can be found by clicking the “photos” tab located at the top of the site and scrolling down to the Washington State @ Arizona State basketball game gallery.

“Crean & Crimson” – Tom Crean Fundraiser For Camouflage Kids

Indiana University head basketball coach Tom Crean visited Elcona Country Club in Elkhart, Indiana for a “Crean & Crimson” fundraising event to benefit Camouflage Kids.

A great evening was highlighted by an inspirational speech from Coach Crean and the unveiling of a special painting for him from world-renowned artist Dean Loucks. The beautiful work of art (shown below) chronicles significant dates of Coach Crean’s personal and coaching achievements on one side and symbolizes the work of Camouflage Kids on the other.

More photos from the evening can be found by clicking on the “photos” tab above to view our great event.

For more information on Dean Loucks, please visit www. http://www.deanloucksart.com

2009 “Operation Hardwood” USO Tour To Iraq

Jeff Nix with Major General Robert Caslen (Commander of Multinational Division-North, Multinational Forces) in Iraq. Jeff Nix with BG Robert Brown (Deputy Commanding General – Support) and the only player for Coach Mike Krzyzewski at West Point to obtain the rank of General. He recently was promoted to Major General and now is the Commanding General at Joint Base Lewis-McChord

In August Jeff Nix , President of Camouflage Kids, participated in Operation Hardwood VI: Hoops for Troops, a USO-sponsored trip that lets current and former coaches bring a slice of home in this case, college basketball to some of our soldiers stationed at COB (Command Operating Base) Speicher in Tikrit, Iraq (hometown of Saddam Hussein).

This year’s coaches making the trip with Coach Nix were Brian Gregory (Dayton), Jim Crews (West Point), Mike Gillian (Longwood), ESPN analyst Steve Lavin (former UCLA coach), Mark Gottfried (former Alabama coach), Dennis Wolfe (former Boston University coach) and ESPN analyst Fran Fraschilla (former St. John’s & New Mexico coach).

Although most of us already knew each other, we bunked together for seven days without the comforts of home, and shared experiences of a lifetime.

Click on the “Photos” link above and scroll down to “2009 Operation Hardwood USO Tour to Iraq” to see the photos of the trip.

West Point Honors Camouflage Kids!

Jeff Nix (right) with Bob Beretta – Army’s Senior Associate Athletic Director (left) and Rich DeMarco – Army’s Assistant Athletic Director (middle).

On Saturday, September 12, 2009 during the Duke at Army football game, the United States Military Academy along with the NCAA honored Camouflage Kids for their work with the children of our military. A check presentation was held on the field during the second quarter of the game as the NCAA contributed a $500 grant to assist our continued efforts to help OUR kids enjoy a college athletic event during the 2009-10 academic school year.

A MEMORABLE FUNDRAISING EVENT!

On September 9, 2008, Camouflage Kids held it’s annual fundraising event with our special guests (Coach Bob Knight & The VanHolstyn Family) along with many other college coaches and friends.

Jeff Nix, President of Camouflage Kids, visited Iraq in June 2008 on a USO Tour and had the opportunity to meet and visit with one of our hero soldiers, Michael VanHolstyn from Grand Rapids, Michigan. The VanHolstyn family was invited to the event and a memorable evening turned out for all.

Dear Jeff,

It was AWESOME! What an evening and what a unique event with such a special cause! We went last night knowing no-one and having no idea what to expect. How could we have guessed it would be such a special memory, never to be forgotten….both for our son Mike in Iraq and for the rest of our family? Certainly he has never “celebrated” a birthday quite like this one.

That was such a wonderful thing you did for us to be able to connect us to our son “LIVE” from Iraq on his 21st birthday! He too was so surprised at the chain of events and relayed to us how he was awoken at about 1:00 a.m. and told to get dressed and clean his rifle and be ready to be whisked off to someplace unknown for a “special detail”. He certainly didn’t expect to be hearing Happy Birthday sung to him by a couple hundred or more Americans. And then he even got to talk to his family for 45 minutes!! It really was special.

THANK-YOU so very much for doing that. I know there was a lot of “behind-the-scenes” work involved on your part to make it all turn out so perfect. So heart-warming for the mother missing her boy in the service.

We all had a very enjoyable evening and were quite impressed by the attention to so much detail to make the evening one-of-a-kind. I can understand how this will get bigger every year. Word spreads. It’s all for a worthy cause too…The Camouflage Kids….giving the event a special momentum of it’s own. It’s the kind of thing people feel good about helping out with and participating in, further launching the organization into the limelight. Which in turn sheds light on these soldiers of ours setting aside their careers, leaving their families behind, and putting their lives on the line for the rest of us in the comfortable settings of home.

It truly was a memorable and touching evening and the only regret I have is that we missed some of the special introductions and speeches and honors given during the time we were happily engaged in conversation with our son. But I saw a few different ones wiping their eyes and knew that hearts were touched and a little spark was ignited to do something for these kids of our military serving at home and abroad.

I could go on and on but once again, let me just say a special thank-you to you and the many others that must have had a hand in making the fundraising event such a success this year. We were so happy to be given the honor of an invitation besides being given such an unexpected surprise.

Please relay a special thanks to Ray Stults and Lana Davis for opening their home like they did. And also I think it was your wife that was SO accommodating and friendly and so busy doing a lot of little extras for everyone. A special thanks to her too.

With much appreciation,

— The VanHolstyn Family