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My Coast Guard
Commentary | May 11, 2023

Apply now for the Coastie Camper program!

By AJ Pulkkinen, MyCG Writer  

The Coast Guard Foundation’s Youth Enrichment Program - Coastie Campers for short - helps Coast Guard families across the country defray the cost of summer camps and activities.  

Qualified military members are eligible for a $500 grant per family.   

Coastie Campers started as a pilot program, and it was so well-received that the Coast Guard Foundation (CGF) is now rolling out the program to everywhere Coast Guard members and families live! The Coastie Camper program has seen a 527% growth in available funds since its inception just a few years ago, so 2023 will be the largest Coastie Camper program to date!  

For fairness and equity, there are some limits. Members may apply for a grant to cover summer camp registration, at-home or virtual enrichment program fees. The grant can also be used for new software or hardware for at-home learning experiences. Simply put, this a chance to pay for camp, sign up for a virtual-camp experience, or purchase a Chromebook, iPad or Kindle, to name a few options. To maximize this opportunity for as many Coast Guard members, the CGF sets a limit of one $500 grant per family. 

Eligibility Requirements  

  • Active-duty Coast Guard members in pay grades E-2 to E-8, O1-O3, W2-W3 with a DEERS-certified dependent child  
  • Reserve Component Coast Guard members in pay grades E-2 to E-8, O1-O3, W2-W3 on any type of active-duty orders for at least 180 days with a DEERS-certified dependent child  
  • Grants are available for dependent children ages 5 to 18 
  • Families can use one grant for multiple children

How to Apply 

  • Apply online by Aug. 31. 
  • CGF will review and award grants in the order in which they are received.  
  • Your application must include a copy of your DEERS/MilConnect service member profile page to verify eligibility. 

The CGF knows that some families can't pay camp costs upfront. On the application, you can indicate the cost of the program and then, if you’re approved, the CGF will send you a grant check to use for program registration. You will need to submit proof of enrollment and expense details after your grant is approved. Required documentation includes a flyer, brochure or a letter from the organization, which clearly states the program's cost and the program dates. Proof of payment includes a copy of a receipt or email notification of payment. 

The Fine Print 

  • To be fair and equitable to Coast Guard families across the country, the CGF will allocate grant funds by Coast Guard district.  
  • All selection results are final. 
  • Applying does not guarantee funding of a grant. 
  • The Coast Guard Foundation will notify all selected recipients by email or phone. 
  • Periodic changes may influence the funding levels of these grants. As a result, the CGF does not guarantee the future funding levels for this program. The CGF reserves the right to reduce or discontinue any award due to the non-availability of funding, without advance notice. 

If you have a question about the camp or program your child is participating in or the required documentation, please email the Coast Guard Foundation’s program manager, Sage Williams at or 860-535-0786.