The University of Maryland University College is celebrating more than 60 years of serving the U.S. military world-wide as the premier supplier of non-traditional education to our troops. UMUC is now educating 60,000 military and family members.
Click Here to Read The University of Maryland University College's letter to The Blewitt Foundation
Program Overview - Destination R&R
The Foundation's Destination R&R programs focus on recreation and leisure activities for all family members. Our first program was held at Maryland’s Turf Valley Resort in August 2007, welcoming 100 military personnel and family members. The participation of parents, siblings, and others increases the enjoyment and enriches the benefit for all participants. There were many option activities available, such as computer training, spa treatment and supervised fun activities for the kids.
Site Selection for Destination R&R
The Foundation’s first major pilot program was held at the Turf Valley Resort, Ellicott City, Maryland, within a half hour drive of Baltimore and the Baltimore/Washington International Airport. This resort provided an ideal setting and facilities for our first programs, from August 5 to 9, 2007.
Destination R&R at a Glance
On opening night all participants met for a kickoff dinner and night of entertainment. This opening event focused on having fun and meeting others. Here are highlights of the diverse activities provided for our military families and guests, all designed to create a fun and educational environment.
We’ve designed the programs to encourage the involvement of all family members in most activities. There are optional activities for parents, older siblings and guests in attendance. Some of these activities are available when programs for younger children are taking place, or, during activity downtime.
UMUC's Educational Opportunities
UMUC’s expertise in adult education and online program development ensures that programs like its military financial management programs can be accessible through user-friendly computer systems to help family members with financial issues. Also, educational opportunities are offered concerning life events both inside the military and the transition to civilian life. A special scholarship fund has been established and program participants are eligible to apply for such support.
UMUC can provide a variety of educational activities -- through on-line classes -- to program attendees. Sessions focus on life transition issues and coping skills, with curricula tailored to the individuals who need practical information. Polling attendees prior to their arrival will help determine what topics they desire, such as:
Managing Interpersonal Stress and Conflict
An exploration of the nature and causes of stress and techniques for its management. Discussion covers psychological processes that cause interpersonal conflict and stress and ways to manage, control and reduce stress.
Career Planning Management
A survey of strategies for managing one’s career and/or career change. Strategies focus on identifying and evaluating skills, self-marketing, and tapping into the hidden job market. Topics could include resume’ development, informational interviewing, networking, tips for career success, and the complicated federal hiring process.
The Successful Adult Learner
An introduction to knowledge and strategies designed to promote success for adult students who begin or return to the university environment. Focus is on developing the study, interpersonal, and self-management skills and attitudes needed to achieve academic objectives. Topics include choosing a major, the university’s resources, and services. A series of self-assessments serve as tools to identify values and goals for individual life planning and educational success.
Financial Aid Opportunities
An overview of scholarships and grants available at UMUC and other institutions, with information provided on required forms and documentation. A UMUC financial aid staff member would conduct the session and be available to provide individual support.
Continuing the Relationship/Experience
Ultimately, the goal of the Foundation is to establish ongoing connections to all families participating in our activities, and to encourage the relationships that began during the Destination R&R program continuing long into the future.
The Foundation continuously seeks ways to be a continuing resource and connector to and for the families, utilizing the Internet and other communication channels. The Foundation also considers offering follow-up program activities and even a return to our facility programs in the future for past participants.
The Blewitt Foundation wants to assure that the relationships established, the fun had by all, and the information gained during its programs continues long after participants move on from the week-long program – for only then are we truly successful in our mission.
We invite you to join us in these wonderful endeavors!
Excerpts from Destination R&R attendees:
"......You have sought out the disabled service members, including their families, recognized and honored them in a way that is unheard of in today's society.....My favorite part of the trip only last 20 seconds. It occurred when our son looked up at his Dad and for the first time, didn't see his disabled father, but he saw his hero. Thank you for that wonderful gift."
"......The trip made a profound impact on our family and we will be forever grateful......We will never forget how much you have changed our lives"
Michael Josephson is the Founder & CEO of the Josephson Institute of Ethics and its well-known Character Counts! program. His daily commentary is heard by several million listeners on KNX Radio in Los Angeles, the Armed Forces Radio Network globally and several other U.S. radio stations, as well as printed in a number of U.S. local newspapers.
Click Here for Michael's Veterans Day commentary.