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This Military Family Month, we’re saluting our amazing service members and their families. Get outdoors and make this a November to remember.

Congratulations! We’ve almost made it through 2020. And although it’s been one rollercoaster ride of a year, near or far, these strange times have brought us closer together. 

Military families are amazing and resilient, and this year has proven that fact. Every letter, every call, every homecoming embrace is a reminder that the bonds of family aren’t something to be taken for granted. Amid strenuous training, long deployments, and regular relocations, it takes a special kind of family to accept the trials and risks of a life of service.

This November, we salute all Active Duty, Guard, and Reserve military families, at home, deployed overseas, and all over the globe, as well as our honored veterans. Image: DoD

This November, Armed Forces Entertainment is encouraging military families to go out and explore. Here are some ideas for activities and resources to make this month a November to remember. 

Plan a Treasure Hunt

Start your kids off with a sense of direction in life. Treasure hunting isn’t just a great activity that can keep your family excited and engaged–it’s also a chance for your family to live out the fantasy of being pirate captains.

For an added challenge this is a perfect opportunity to teach your kids valuable orienteering skills, such as following detailed instructions, and using a map and a compass.

It’s not always about the treasure you find, but the memories you make along the way.

What you’ll need:

  • A place outdoors to search and explore. This can be a forest, a park, or even your neighborhood.
  • Paper and pens/pencils to create clues and a map, get creative with it!
  • A treasure to find: this could be a secret cache of Nerf Guns, a hidden trove of candy, or even launching a rescue mission for their favorite toy–truly the sky’s the limit here.

Build a Secret Fort

You and your family can rule over your very own garrison. What do you need to be king of the castle? Whatever you have on hand!

Whether you choose to build a pillow fortress with blankets and couch cushions, or a rigid cardboard fort made out of old MRE boxes, or a combination of both, let your imagination run wild. Who said staying in had to be boring?

Prepare a Small Feast and go out on a Picnic Adventure

The days are getting cooler, and the weather is beautiful, so why not grab a blanket and a cooler filled with your favorite beverages and sandwiches and have a picnic?

Better yet, why not turn Thanksgiving into an outdoor picnic this year?

Nothing beats a day outside in this wonderful Fall weather. Image: DoD

Don’t feel like cooking? Your local MWR may be preparing Thanksgiving turkey dinners to-go this year, which would make it that much easier to pack everything up for a day outside. Doesn’t that sound nice?

Gather Around a Campfire

Can anything really beat the well-controlled burn of a campfire? Watch the hours melt as you watch the embers slowly burn. Camping is a great way to detach from the stresses of phones and other electronic devices, and simply live at one with the outdoors. 

Picture this: just you, your family, a sky full of stars, and a whole lot of s’mores.

Is any moment more perfect than a campfire gathering among friends and family?

Get Equipped for the Great Outdoors at your Local Base Recreation Center

From kayaks to fishing gear, bicycles to tents, your local Recreation Center on base may be stocked, locked, and loaded for you to have a great time outdoors. As a benefit to living on base, equipment rental fees are very reasonable compared to private rental businesses.

If you do rent a bike from your nearest Base Rec center, be sure not to get too cocky.

Check out your local MWR to see what they have in store. With a boater safety certification, you can even rent out a fishing boat for the day.

Explore your Military Campgrounds and RV Parks

Now that you’re all geared up and ready for adventure, did you know that the DoD hosts and operates exclusive campgrounds for military families across the US? There’s a wide variety of different locations available at military installations and recreational areas all around the country. 

And the best part about it? Many of these campsites are exclusive to Military ID holders and their families, and available to reserve for a family getaway at a moment’s notice. 

Campsites can range from bare-bones primitive lots, to full-blown RV-friendly parks with amenities such as swimming beaches, marinas, fishing piers, concrete patios, grills, and picnic areas.

For a detailed list of available campsites and RV parks for military families by state/region, across the armed services. Check out Paths Across America via Army MWR here to explore military family lodging and camping facilities by state and region.

The Air Force also operates 36 recreational lodging camps and 71 FAMcamps, including over 500 cabins and 100 fixed RV trailers spread out across the globe, from the United States to Japan.

Looking for a camp checklist? Check out the Air Force Great Outdoors guide here.

Whether you’re looking to book a simple campground at Fort Hood, or take the family on to an Alaskan Log Cabin adventure at Seward Military Resort, that sweet escape you’re looking for might just be more accessible than you think.

Armed Forces Entertainment

With autumn in full swing, it’s the season for friendly pick-up football games and excursions in the great outdoors. What will you be doing this November?

At AFE, we thank you and your family for your continued service and support. It is you who makes everything we do possible. Let’s make this a November to remember.

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