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EFMP campout registration set for June 1

Selection to be decided by drawing this year

Northwest Guardian

Published: 04:49PM May 22nd, 2014

Registration for Joint Base Lewis-McChord’s Exceptional Family Member Program’s two annual campouts is set for June 1 this year.

EFMP specialist Nancy Dozier said this is the first year Camp Prime Time will be selected by drawing instead of first-come, first-serve. EFMP holds the camp each year in the Wenatchee National Forest in conjunction with the Camp Prime Time nonprofit.

Dozier said EFMP decided to make the selection process the same as Camp JBLM’s, held each year at American Lake’s Shoreline Park, Lewis North.

Camp Prime Time, near White Pass, has 16 cabins that can fit six-to-nine people, Dozier said. Corporate sponsors prepare the cabins for the camping season each spring, and Equity Residential personnel volunteer to help run the camp during JBLM’s timeslot, July 18 to 20.

The camp features pontoon boats on Saturday and therapeutic horseback rides Sunday at a nearby corral, Dozier said. Equity staff prepares meals in advance, so families need not worry about bringing food.

EFMP uses a map provided by the nonprofit, which is also available on the nonprofit’s website, www.campprimetime.org.

“Don’t use a GPS to get to the camp,” Dozier said, “or you’ll go to Yakima.”

Families should be ready to help pitch in for crafts, but there also will be plenty of downtime for people to relax and enjoy the outdoors, Dozier said.

Camp JBLM also is seeing a couple changes this year, EFMP program manager Mary Herrera said.

For the overnight portion Aug. 8, Herrera said Radio Disney has planned a special musical program to entertain participants.

For the day portion Aug. 9, which is free and open to all EFMP families, the Mobile Canteen from McChord Field will provide free snacks and meals to hungry attendees from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tacoma’s PBS station KBTC also will bring its “Explore Your World” educational features to participants for a night of learning and entertainment.

This year’s theme is “Superheroes of American Lake,” Herrera said.

“What we do is, at the end of each camp, we ask the participants to fill out a camp evaluation and ask for ideas for next year’s camp,” Herrera said. “That’s why we did ‘Pirates of American Lake’ for two years, because it was so popular.”

Camp JBLM activities include fishing, bingo, facepainting and pontoon boat rides on American Lake.

Families of active-duty service members, including active Guard and reserve, who want to participate in either camp first need to make sure applicable family members are enrolled in EFMP, Herrera said.

The Army requires active-duty service members enroll those family members, but if you haven’t yet, Herrera said people can call her office and be guided through the process.

Families can get an application by calling the EFMP office at 967-9704 or 966-5393; visiting the office in Room 400, Waller Hall; or by going to EFMP’s Facebook page and downloading one.

Herrera said applicants’ names go into a drawing, first for Camp Prime Time. Families selected for Camp Prime Time then are excluded from being drawn for the overnight portion of Camp JBLM.

Families chosen for Camp Prime Time also must pay a $25 refundable deposit, Dozier said.