Military families travel to Monticello for Camp Corral

MONTICELLO -- Military families from across the Midwest traveled to Monticello Sunday to start a week filled with fun.

In the hustle and bustle of military life, having fun is often forced to fall back.

"We don't get to do a lot of camping like this because we move around too much for that," said Kayla Johnson, whose father is stationed at Scott Air Force Base.

But on Sunday, more than 200 kids moved into the cabins they will call home at the 4-H Memorial campgrounds in Monticello during this year's Camp Corral.

"This camp is for the children of the wounded, fallen, or disabled service members," said Kaylyn Mitman, operations coordinator for the camp. "And just have the week of a lifetime, to get them away from their everyday challenges that they face, and to foster and build resilience."

All for free and thanks to fundraising by local Golden Corral franchisees.

"We were able to raise locally close to $4000 in my store," said Vince McGraw, general manager of the Golden Corral in Springfield. "And we do this all across the country."

Camp Corral is offered in 16 states across the country, but that did not stop people from crossing state lines to get to Illinois.

"We had people from Wisconsin, Indiana," said Mitman. "We saw a license plate from Florida."

Once these kids return to where they're from, they don't forget the friendships that are formed.

"I remember the last day, I got my camp corral notebook out and I was like, 'guys I need your numbers, we need to talk to each other outside of camp and communicate,' and actually did," said Johnson. "And have created some nice friendships, like really close, and I feel like I'm going to be friends with them for forever."

Creating something constant in a life that's constantly on the move.

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