Youth Programs

Serves Children Ages Six to 18 Years

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About Youth Programs (YP)

Department of the Air Force Youth Programs (YP) offer opportunities for positive youth development by supporting the skills, interests, qualities, and abilities of all youth. The Department of the Air Force operates Youth Programs on 72 DAF-led installations and provides opportunities for geographically separate youth.

Youth Program (YP) Offerings Include:

 
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Youth Sports and Fitness

 

Youth Sports and Fitness (YS&F) offers opportunities for sports, fitness, health and nutrition,
outdoor recreation, and motor skill development. YS&F provides high-quality recreation youth sports leagues and is recognized for their dedication through the National Alliance for Youth Sports Better Sports for Kids Quality Program Provider Certification.

Youth Sports and Fitness Provides

  • Certified and trained volunteer coaches

  • Comprehensive background screening for staff and volunteers

  • Parent Education and Involvement

  • Written policies and procedures

  • Accountability

Recreational Sports Leagues

​Non-competitive youth sports opportunities develop a sense of belonging and teamwork, build sport-specific skills, and provide quality family time for youth.

Start Smart (selections vary by installation)

A parent-child program to build fundamental motor skills without the threat of competition while having fun and developing self-confidence and a love of physical fitness.

 
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Programming for Positive Youth Development

 

Empowering youth to find their voice and their passion to make a difference in their community and the world through opportunities for planning, decision-making, advocacy while becoming responsible, caring citizens and acquiring skills to participate in the democratic process. 

The Arts

Fostering creativity and providing outlets for self-expression. From daily programs to instructional classes and summer camps, youth are encouraged to explore the arts. National Competitions in Fine Arts and Photography showcase the talent of our youth.

Sports and Recreation

Programs to develop physical fitness, reduce stress, and promote the positive use of leisure time, appreciation for the environment, and interpersonal skills. 

Health and Wellness

Building young people’s capacity to engage in positive behaviors that nurture well-being, inspire the pursuit of personal goals, and grow into self-sufficient adults. 

Education

Activities designed to inspire a love of learning, support academic skills, and ensure that all youth graduate from high school on time, ready for a post-secondary path and skills for a 21st-century career.

 
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Partnerships

 

Department of the Air Force Services partners with national youth serving organizations to provide a wide range of programs and services for youth and staff, including:

Outreach initiatives

Get involved even if you are not near a DAF Youth Center!​

  • BGCA Mission Youth Outreach

    • BGCA provides free memberships to military-affiliated youth not living near an installation. Find a club near you!

  • 4-H Local Clubs and Opportunities 

    • Local 4-H clubs serve youth around the country and the world with a mission to inspire civic engagement, build skills in STEM and Agriculture, and encourage healthy living.

  • 4-H at Home 

    • 4 H at Home provides hands-on, educational activities for kids and teens all year long. Get our latest 4 H at Home Activity Guide, activities from 4 H Land-Grant Universities, and more. 

 
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Teen Programs

 

Military Youth of the Year 

A premier scholarship and recognition program for teens ages 14-18 offered in partnership with Boys and Girls Clubs of America.  The program honors and celebrates our most inspiring teens and their incredible journeys, showcasing outstanding leadership, service, academic excellence, and dedication to living a healthy lifestyle.

Keystone Club

Keystone Clubs are dynamic programs challenging teens to become leaders and participate in community service. Offered through our BGCA partnership, Keystone is the most dynamic teen program, building valuable leadership and service experience as teens plan and implement programs in four areas: academic success, career exploration, community service, and teen outreach. The national conference is one of the highlights of the Keystone Year! 

Air Force Teen Council (AFTC)s 

An initiative to provide a voice for Air Force teens and a connection to installation leaders to provide a platform for the needs and passions of teens. Connections with other installations create a network of teens working to resolve issues and voice concerns to the highest levels of leadership on behalf of teens across the Air Force.

 
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Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Initiatives... 

 

Harnessing the potential and creativity of youth and teens!

 

4-H National Youth STEM Challenge

The 4-H STEM Challenge, formerly known as 4-H National Youth Science Day (4-H NYSD), is an annual initiative to inspire kids everywhere to take an interest in science, technology, engineering, and math through hands-on learning. Since 2002, 4-H has developed fun, accessible challenges that show kids how STEM skills can be applied to the world around them.  In response to COVID19, 4-H created STEM challenge family kits so youth and parents can work together to solve this year’s challenge.

My Future

BGCA on-line digital platform that showcases the work of youth and provides a fun and safe way to build technology skills.  “It’s a space where kids can interact with each other – free from the prospect of cyberbullying – and share their accomplishments locally and nationally.  It’s a great way to experience BGCA’s digital programming, make friends and build a positive self-image through online achievement. ”Close the gap on summer learning loss by trying out the games and activities at home! 

BGCA STEM Centers of Innovation

Through a generous grant program, DAF Youth Centers have the opportunity to be selected as a STEM Center of Innovation. The centers provide military youth with access to advanced technologies that stimulate creative approaches to STEM exploration, including 3-D printers, robotics, high-definition video production, and conferencing equipment. A commitment to enhanced STEM programming provides individual and group activities, using real-world applications to help youth develop their STEM skills, critical thinking, teamwork, and innovation.

 

Check out the great programs that have been selected for this honor:

  • Buckley Youth Programs

  • Eglin Youth Programs

  • Hill Youth Programs

  • JB Andrews Youth Programs

  • JBLE-Langley Youth Programs

  • Kirtland Youth Programs

  • Los Angeles Youth Programs

  • Ramstein Youth Programs

 
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Residential Youth Camps

 

Teen Aviation Camp at the USAF Academy 

This camp is an opportunity for teens interested in attending the United States Air Force Academy or general aviation. Aviation Camp is held annually. Flying in a Cessna 145 is one of many highlights of this camp. Teens entering their sophomore or junior year of high school are selected through a competitive application process. 

 

Virtual Teen Aviation

 

Space Camp at the US Space and Rocket Center

At this six day residential camp 12-18 year olds experience simulated Space Shuttle missions, training simulators, rocket building and launches, scientific experiments, lectures, and more.  Participants are selected through a competitive application process. 

 

US Sport Residential Youth Camps

Sea World San Antonio Marine Careers Camp

 

Teen Leadership Camping Challenges

 

4-H Military Partnership Camps

Join the fun at a Military Kids camp for school-age youth this spring & summer. Leave behind the distractions of everyday life, and enjoy exciting activities, making friends with other youth from military families, creating millions of new memories, and a whole lot more! Each day is packed with building positive traits, conquering challenging activities, and mastering cooperative games that build skills that are helpful in real-life situations in a whole lot of FUN!

Teen Leadership Camping Challenges

Selections vary by installation.

  • Performing Arts 

  • Paintball

  • Non-Traditional Sports

  • Soccer

  • Science

  • Archery

  • Culinary

 
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Youth Sponsorship

 

Peer-to-peer youth sponsorship is provided in two different models. The School Liaison will serve as a primary support for the development of the school-based youth sponsorship programs (Transitions Centers, Transition Programs, S2S, JS2S, A4L) and the secondary support for the installation-based CYP Youth Sponsorship Program. 

 

School-Based Youth Sponsorship

School liaisons facilitate a smooth transition for military children by creating an installation or community network of partnerships to include military families, local schools, the DoD Education Activity, CYP, DoD contractors such as School Military Family Life Counselors and Anchored4Life, and other installation or community partners. School-based youth sponsorship is a peer-to-peer program delivered at local school levels. School programs using peer-to-peer or student-led philosophies are most effective. School Liaisons work with districts and/or schools to create some type of youth sponsorship program or transitional support program for military youth when they enroll at a new school.   

 

Peer-to-Peer Youth Sponsorship

Youth Programs look forward to welcoming youths and teens to their new installation. Peer-to-Peer youth sponsorship provides valuable connections and meaningful perspectives from youth and teens already stationed at gaining installations. Youth mentors are excited to answer questions, share insights and identify unique opportunities available in a new community. Families can reach out to the Youth Center to request.