My son just completed a week of camp called the Junior Police/Fire Academy. This camp was put on by the Wheeling Police Department and the Wheeling firefighters. It was outstanding! The camp cost my husband and me $1 (that is not a typo). During this week, my son was not only fed breakfast and lunch, but they gave him a cool T-shirt too.
During the week, this is what he did:
-- He learned first aid and CPR and is now certified with a card.
-- He took an 8-mile bike ride and learned bike safety.
-- He took a few hikes and learned hiking safety.
-- He spent the afternoon at Wheeling Park High School swimming pool and learned water safety.
-- He learned Internet safety.
-- He learned fire safety. He operated the big hoses (with help) and learned how to use a fire extinguisher by putting out a fire.
-- He had the opportunity to see a medical helicopter up close; he saw a car being ripped apart with the Jaws of Life; and he got to ride in the bucket of the fire truck.
-- He also had the opportunity to meet and interact with quite a few police officers and firefighters - which I think is a wonderful thing.
-- Last, he got to meet some of his new classmates at Triadelphia Middle School.
Anyway, I am writing to you about this camp for two reasons. First, the Wheeling Police Department and Wheeling Fire Department should be commended for this program. I still cannot believe all he did and learned this past week. The officers and firefighters who taught this class really related to the children and gave them real life skills. Excellent!
Second, I want to raise awareness for this program. As a working parent, I think we all struggle from time to time to find safe summer fun activities for our children. I want folks to know that this program is open to all 5th graders who graduate from DARE (a program that is taught in private and public schools alike during their 5th grade academic year).
It is never too early for our kids to learn these skills. So, parents of incoming 5th graders in Ohio County, please keep this camp in mind for next year. Please remember to ask about it and ask early as to when they are going to hold it. My son had an absolute blast, and he learned a lot! As for me, I never once worried about leaving him at camp - I knew he was in good hands.