By: Rebecca Miller
Williams County Deputy Sheriff Paul McCord, finished his sixth school year in which he teaches 5th graders about the importance of staying drug free and has plowed right into the summer program. From 2008- 2013 D.A.R.E. was not active due to funding, but came back with a new updated curriculum. McCord says that it is designed to address the things students are dealing with now. “We give them ways to communicate better. They learn about the affects of alcohol and tobacco, bullying, over the counter meds, internet safety, as well as risks and consequences,” McCord explained.
Besides the Spring “Lock-Ins”, which are actually about five hours at the YMCA in Bryan, he also leads the Summer Day Camp program, which is held once per summer. Summer camp consists of three days in which the students are challenged olympic style. They are all placed in teams that remain the same for the whole three days, allowing the students to form some great friendships by the end of the camp. The teams compete in a number of events, physical, mental or psychological.
The camp is based at Superior Athletic Complex in Montpelier and the students get registered to go at the end of their school year. Participants are bussed to and from their own schools each day and do some of the competitions right at the Athletic Complex. All seven schools in the county send students and this year there were 135 campers, all 4th, 5th and 6th graders. There are also volunteers who are Role Models, sort of like counselors, who assist in the camp.
Each camper gets a shirt, lunch and snacks plus all the fun for a requested cost of $35. The camp is also sponsored by donors and this year the anonymous donor gave them seven packs of two Cedar Point tickets which are given out as awards. Other donors who are greatly appreciated are businesses and civic groups, including Montpelier Civic League, Thompson Funeral Home and Edon Dairy Treats. McCord said that he can’t thank everyone enough, in Williams County who donate to make this camp possible.
The first day of the 2019 camp was spent at Classic City Center, south of Waterloo, Ind. where they did rock climbing, ninja warrior course, obstacle courses, arena, and lots of other great activities. On the second day, the students were taken to the new waterpark just outside of Edgerton called Blackbeards Bay at Hickory Acres Campground.
Day three was spent at Superior Complex with a competition of Dare Factor – based on Fear Factor, with different foods to try as well as some like seaweed and crickets. The Humane Society and 4-H Extension offices also did presentations. They wrapped up their three days with Pizza and awards. With the whole camp being about competition, scores are kept all three days and awards given out based on those scores. On the last day they end with a giant water fight with the Fire Department!
McCord said that he feels the three days are well worth it as the students have a great time, learn a lot and make new friends.
Rebecca can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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