Local law enforcement, firefighters to sponsor summer day camp for youth


Joe Rakozcy (right), president of the Huntington Lions Club, presents a check to Chris Newton, chief deputy of the Huntington County Sheriff’s Department, on Thursday, May 30, at Lancaster Elementary School. Photo by Andre B. Laird.

Local law enforcement officers, firefighters and other emergency personnel will sponsor a summer day camp for youth ages 8-13.

Camp H.E.R.O. (Honor, Excellence, Respect, Opportunity) will be held July 15-21 at Crestview Middle School. Sessions will be held from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., although participants may arrive as early as 7 a.m.

The week will include one overnight stay at Crestview with entertainment by local comedian David Dean.

Sheriff's deputies, Huntington police officers and firefighters and local emergency medical technicians will speak to participants, explaining how they can stay safe and make good decisions while growing up.

Campers will also see demonstrations by police dogs, bomb teams, SWAT teams, EMS personnel, the Parkview Samaritan helicopter and the conservation officers' dive team.

Additional sessions will focus on drug awareness, fire safety, water safety and firearms safety.

Youth will also hear from county Coroner Phil Zahm and see a lineup of emergency vehicles and have an opportunity to swim at the YMCA.

Breakfast and lunch are included in the cost of the camp. At the start of the day, the camp staff will make sure campers are "squared away" for the day - teeth brushed, hair combed, pants pulled up and shoes tied.

"Many of the children that will be attending have never seen police officers, firefighters or EMS personnel outside of their uniforms," says Chief Deputy Chris Newton of the Huntington County Sheriff's Department, one of the camp's organizers.

"Many may never have known any of these public safety persons until something bad happens to them. This will give them the opportunity to see that public safety personnel have lives that include families, hobbies and activities outside of their jobs."

The camp is sponsored by the Huntington County Sheriff's Department and Parkview Huntington Family YMCA.

For registration information, visit the YMCA website at www.hunting tony.org and follow the link at the bottom of the page.

Complete caption: Joe Rakozcy (right), president of the Huntington Lions Club, presents a check to Chris Newton, chief deputy of the Huntington County Sheriff’s Department, on Thursday, May 30, at Lancaster Elementary School. The funds will be used for Camp H.E.R.O. (Honor, Excellence, Respect, Opportunity), a summer day camp sponsored by local public safety officials, to be held July 15-21.