A month to celebrate all our dandelions

April is the international month of the military child and we want you to get involved and help us celebrate all of your gorgeous Little Troopers!

Did you know the official flower of the military child is the dandelion because it’s seeds are blown far and wide by the wind but it will always plant roots and blossom wherever it lands. That’s why we’ve got lots of dandelion themed activities to keep you and your Little Troopers busy this month.

We’ve got some extra special competitions and giveaways running on our Facebook and Instagram pages so make sure you’re following us!

CRAFTS AND ACTIVITIES

Below you will see some activity sheets we have created for you. We have loved seeing everyone taking part in the rainbow trail in the last few weeks, so this month why not add a dandelion or two to your beautiful window display? Not only is it a fun activity to keep you busy but it’s a great way to get people talking about military children. If you live on the patch you can also go dandelion spotting in your area.

Some of our other dandelion themed print-outs include a ‘make a wish’ game to play outdoors and the gorgeous dandelion military child poem which you can print off, chat to your Little Trooper about and maybe even display in their room or your front window.

Tag us in your pictures on Facebook and Instagram. Maybe you’ll even get stuck into some of your own dandelion themed activities to celebrate the military child? Dandelion shortbread anyone?!

Have fun!

Joanna Lumley - Military Child

My best memory of being an army brat was the thrill of boarding the troop ships, either in Hong Kong, Singapore or Southampton. We sailed on the Franconia, the Windrush, the Empire Orwell and the Dilwara, twice. There was lifeboat practice, an orange every day to eat on deck, the great blue sea and the smell of land before we could see it. Flying fish and dolphins followed in the bow waves. Stars at night were as bright as diamonds. We stopped and disembarked at all the ports, Colombo, Aden, Port Said, Malta, Gibraltar…. and took on board the pilot who would steer us through the narrow Suez Canal. Today little troopers will fly: but those months on board a mighty ship was something I shall never forget.

As a child you think that everything is normal: so I grew to love Malaya with all my heart, and our bungalow at 16, HQ Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, was home for three years of bliss for me and my sister.  The Emergency was on, so we travelled in armoured cars; and holidays were spent in the cool air of Fraser’s Hill. Rubber plantations and tin mines were spread among the kampongs; at night the toc-toc birds and cheechaks clicked and sang, and huge white moonflowers bloomed and fell in one evening. Monsoon rains turned the red laterite earth into orange sludge, which dried to a chocolatey smoothness. We walked to school on a road made of crystal quartz, and watched the light planes land on the rough airstrip in front of the Batu Caves.

My message to the Little Troopers is: the world is a vast and utterly thrilling place. Never be bored for a moment, as there is so much to see, and taste, to learn and absorb. Try to fit in to your new home and school at once; make friends as though you will never part, although you shall have to. Look at everything, and say “I like this” before you think you don’t.

 Being a military child is one of the great advantages in life, so make the tradition proud of you, as I am proud of you, and people before were proud of us.

Remember what a fine job your parents are doing, and tell them you are happy; and they will be so pleased and glad that they have such fabulous kids. With a kind heart and an open mind you can do anything you set your mind on. Be brave. Be gorgeous.

NEW Dandelion tshirt

NOW AVAILABLE!

A very special new t shirt for Little Troopers with dandelion motif to the front plus our logo and ‘I’m a little trooper’ to the rear

Jenny Eclair - Military Child

What is your best memory of being a military child?

I remember being really proud of my Dad and his uniform, I knew he did something important and a bit exciting, but he did go away quite a lot and when I was very young I had to pretend to remember who he was when he came home! I remember thinking that other Dad’s who weren’t in the army were a bit boring and I was slightly disappointed when my Dad left the forces and got a job that required him to wear a suit! I’ve never been a fan of suit jobs.

Where was your favourite place to live?

Berlin, my sister and I went to this amazing school in Charlottenburg which was really experimental and modern, This was back in the 1960’s and even the school lunches were fabulous. We were encouraged to be really creative, lots of drawing and story writing, I remember lying on the floor a lot and drawing round each other, the playground had these amazing climbing frames built inside space rockets and no one really seemed to bother with maths. When we moved from Berlin to Barnard Castle, I went to a really tough school on Stainton Camp, where  I remember a boy being slippered for not eating a potato with a maggot in it and we had to ask the teacher for toilet paper.

What is your message for all the Little Troopers out there living a military childhood?

Enjoy it, make as many friends as possible, be nice to the new kids because you might be a new kid soon.