Operation Purple Healing Adventures Lives Up to Its Name


Nestled on 486 acres in the Sandhills region of North Carolina, Camp Rockfish promises rest and relaxation…with a lot of fun thrown in! This past weekend, they hosted 14 military families for Operation Purple Healing Adventures.

Operation Purple Healing Adventures celebrates rediscovering family-fun and togetherness after an injury. This FREE, three-day experience combines family-focused activities with outdoor exploration, like hiking and ziplining, to encourage each family’s growth on their new journey post-injury.

Families came from all over, some lived right down the road at Fort Bragg, but a few drove from Virginia and one family came all the way from Alabama.

At the start of the weekend, one family said, “We get what we put into it.” Reiterating the more families open themselves to people and experiences around them, the more they garner from those interactions. This set the tone for the weekend.

The atmosphere was relaxed. Families took part in activities like swimming and ziplining, had family devotionals, and played board games. New and old relationships were fostered. Some families knew each other from the area and grew closer, others who had never met before the weekend, made plans to visit each other.

The nights were late as kids played hide and go seek, while parents talked. We had s’mores in the evening, and at a glance, the families were so integrated with one another, we didn’t know who belonged to who. On the last night, families gathered to play a game of “Mission Impossible” in the woods with camp staff as spotters. Each family was their own team, with the goal to sneak through the woods to ring a bell without being spotted.

When asked why they wanted to come to the retreat, another family answered, “Our family has a lot of stressors and it would be wonderful to involve our children in a healing environment as a family rather than us at a marriage retreat and them at their own camp. We adore our kids and look forward to healing together as a family unit.”

By the end of the retreat, families were lingering, talking with each other while kids played.

To say that these family are resilient is a gross understatement. Many had stories of hurt and heartbreak, but all were on a journey to a healthier place. What an honor and privilege to take part in a weekend full of healing and hope.

Special thanks to Brad Keselowski’s Checkered Flag Foundation for their generous support to the National Military Family Association and military families for making this weekend possible.

Is your family finding their “new normal” after an injury? What do you think is the most important thing to do to be successful? Share a tip with us in the comment section.

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