Now more than three dozen children from military families around the world are enjoying golf, robotics and science at the Tiger Woods Learning Center's Summer Academy in Anaheim.
Nicholas Hetherington had never swung a golf club until this week. But the 14-year-old from Fort Levenworth, Kansas is catching on quickly.
"The coaches here are very good," said Hetherington. "They really take one-on-one time with you, show you what you're doing wrong, and how to improve. It really helps."
He's one of 40 children from military families around the country attending the week-long academy. It's not just golf their grasping, but technology and biology.
Asyia McGhee, 11, and other campers are dissecting cats, something they wouldn't otherwise do until high school.
"It's actually really interesting," said McGhee, who lives in Hawaii. "It didn't bother me that much at first. Maybe it was a little disturbing, the smell and everything. It takes a little getting used to."
The camp is $1,500 a week and the military campers are here on scholarship. Several companies have covered their costs and airfare.
The camp also teaches young people how to build robots. When they return home, campers will be able to show their parents a video of their handy work and an overview of their week at camp.
The kids say they're thrilled to be at the academy. And they're grateful their parents are home from Iraq, so they can soon share their camp experience in person.