Twenty four teenagers who have parents serving in the Armed Forces were brought together in Swaledale at the weekend by the charity Little Troopers.
The residential break at the Marrick Priory Outdoor Education Centre was part of the Little Troopers new All Together deployment club to support young people while their military parents are deployed overseas or due to deploy soon.
Many of the teenagers attending have parents based at Catterick Garrison.
Across the weekend, the teenagers bonded outdoors as they took part in climbing, archery, abseiling and high ropes.
The group also came together for a group therapy session, where they explored some of the challenges that military life can bring and learnt new ways to cope with uncertainty and change.
The weekend ended with a surprise visit from Little Troopers ambassador and professional rugby player for Doncaster Knights, Thom Smith.
Thom grew up as a military child and is a presenter on the Little Troopers SQUAD podcast, a podcast aimed at military teens.
The Yorkshire teens got to chat to Thom over lunch and listened to an episode of SQUAD together.
Louise Fetigan, founder of Little Troopers, said: “Each year, thousands of military children have a parent, or in some cases both parents, deployed for months at a time and this can be really hard time for those left at home.
“Our Little Troopers All Together project brings these children together so they can benefit from talking to peers going through a similar experience.
“This was our first All Together residential weekend and it was wonderful to meet so many amazing young people from Yorkshire and to hear about their lives growing up in the Armed Forces community.
“Parents have told us that their children really benefited from the weekend and have made new friendships.”
Ellen, 15, one of the teens taking part, said: “At first I was really nervous because I didn’t know anyone but everyone has been really nice and it’s been a great opportunity to make new friends with other people who understand what you’re going through.”
The Little Troopers All Together project has been made possible thanks to donations from the Veterans Foundation, the Prince of Wales Charitable Fund, the Henry Sale Foundation, Greenwich Hospital and HDH Wills.
In addition to running teen residential weekends, the Little Troopers All Together project includes a series of online workshops for under 10s and adventure days out for 7–13-year-olds.
For more information visit www.littletroopers.net