Fun prevention-based program educates kids about dangers of drug use –
Story by Patricia Beech –
Photos by Mark Carpenter –
Nathaniel Massie Park was the hub of activity in Manchester last weekend as Sheriff Kimmy Rogers and his deputies kicked off their fifth annual series of Junior Deputy Boot Camps.
Approximately 75 young people attended the three-day long camp which focuses on what Sheriff Rogers calls the first and most important step in fighting the drug abuse epidemic – prevention.
“We’ve been going at this problem from the wrong end for years, and it’s not working,” Rogers says. “We need to get out in front of it.”
Rogers is well known for using his badge to forge positive relationships between law-enforcement and kids from all walks of life all across Adams County.
“This generation of kids will be the ones to solve the drug problem,” he says. “If we give them what they need to do it.”
The Junior Deputy Boot Camps aim to do just that.
Now in its fifth year, the anti-drug day camp offers two days of activities designed to teach children ages 5 -14 about the dangers of drug abuse and the importance of making smart choices. A graduation ceremony and cookout follow on the third day. Each child participating receives a free T-shirt with an anti-drug message.
“Summertime is the most vulnerable time for kids,” Rogers adds. “They’re out of school, which is a controlled environment, and they’re exposed to more danger from drugs so it’s important to keep them busy doing something positive.”
More upcoming dates for the 2017 Junior Deputy Boot Camps are: Seaman at Church 180 – June 15, 16, and 17; Peebles at the Church of Christ in Christian Union – June 29, 30, and July 1; Blue Creek at the Jefferson Community Center – July 20, 21, and 22; and West Union at the Adams County Fairgrounds- August 10, 11, and 12.
Hours for the camp are 5- 8 p.m. on Thursday and Friday, and noon – 3 p.m. Saturdays.
The camp is open and free to all Adams County children.