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Centre County Camp Cadet Seeks Applicants for Summer Program

by on June 05, 2014 6:20 AM

A youth camp led by local police officers is seeking applicants for this year's program.

The Centre County Law Enforcement Camp Cadet is a one-week camp open to boys and girls between ages 12 and 15 who live in Centre County.

At the camp, children have an opportunity to interact with police officers and learn about their work as well as participate in traditional camp activities, like swimming and canoeing.

State College Police Officer Kelly Aston says the camp can be particularly eye opening for girls who may have never considered pursuing a career in law enforcement.

"A lot of times at camp it occurs to some young girls for the first time that these areas are possible for them," Aston says. "I think it's great for them to see women in this field. There are a lot of strong women here who have very successful careers."

In addition to traditional camp activities, like fishing and volleyball, the cadets also have an opportunity to act as detectives by learning how to process a crime scene and investigate a bank robbery. They also learn self-defense, rifle safety and CPR.

Ultimately, the goal is for children to learn about law enforcement professions, build a comfort level with police officers, strengthen their leadership skills, and make new friends with children from throughout the county.

"It's about leaving all of that middle school stuff behind and breaking down those barriers," Aston says. "I believe this camp instills self-esteem, confidence, and builds friendships and leadership skills. It does so much."

Organizers have extended the application deadline to June 20. Parents can obtain an application and other information by clicking HERE. Scholarships are available.

In 1984, State College Police Officer David Caster and state police Trooper Richard Reitz started Camp Cadet in Centre County. Since then, more than 2,200 cadets have graduated from the camp.

Participating agencies include local police, state police, FBI, Fish & Boat Commission, Game Commission, as well as firefighters and paramedics.

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Jennifer Miller is a reporter for StateCollege.com. She has worked in journalism since 2005. She's covered news at the local, state and national level with an emphasis on crime and local government.
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