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Gabriella watches as J.D. Engelhardt, the lead Wisconsin National Guard Child & Youth Program coordinator, addresses children during Virtual Badger Youth Camp on Aug. 4, 2020. Wisconsin National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Katie Theusch

The Wisconsin National Guard Child and Youth Program is celebrating the Month of the Military Child with a series of virtual events in recognition of the flexibility and resiliency of military youth.

The theme for this year’s events is “Being your own Superhero,” where kids will learn how to turn their feelings into superpowers and find their inner hero.

“It important to recognize our military child year round because of the sacrifice they make where they are missing there service member during important milestones like good grades, sporting events or watching their favorite TV shows together,” said J.D. Engelhardt, the lead Child and Youth Program coordinator. “The goal of Month of the Military child is to help build that military children community where they can express both their pride and anxiety about their family’s military service and have a community to support them.”

That community of military youth has been especially important over the past year as the Wisconsin National Guard has had a historic year in scope, length and duration of activations and support of the Guard’s state and federal missions.

“Many of our military youth supported parents that were deployed or called upon to serve the state of Wisconsin during the pandemic or social concerns in their local community,” said Dr. Lisa Kluetz, the state family programs director. “Over the last year, the Service Member Support Directorate and the Child & Youth team have developed programs to meet the needs of our military families in virtual, social media, and in-person environments.”

Service members can sign up their children and choose to participate in as many or as few events as they would like. All events are free except for the military-themed charcoal drawing which costs $10.

Gabriella works on a charcoal drawing of the American flag during Virtual Badger Youth Camp on Aug. 5, 2020. Submitted photo

Schedule of events:

  • April 6: Turn Your Feelings into a Superpower (Each youth will design their own crest and learn about their superpowers)
  • April 8: Virtual Teen Lock-In (Teens will network and build social connections with Jack Box games)
  • April 13: Create Your Own Superhero Character (Create your own comic book)
  • April 15: Purple Up Day (Wear purple and share photos on the Child & Youth Facebook Page)
  • April 17: Military-themed charcoal drawing with Rob Gorder
  • April 20: Superhero Sidekick (Introduce your pet and learn pet first aid)
  • April 22: Virtual Bring Your Child to Work Day – Career Day and Earth Day celebration
  • April 27: Who is Your Superhero? (Discussion on resilience and arts and crafts activity)

To register for Month of the Military Child events, go to

To register for the charcoal drawing event, go to

The Child & Youth Program also announced that registration is open for its annual Badger Youth Camp scheduled for July 9-11 at Camp Lakotah in Wautoma, Wis. Families can register their military children ages 8-17 online at