Monday, August 1, 2016

Free, five-day summer camp changes lives forever

It's called Camp Chance, and it was created a few years ago by the San Rafael, California, Police Department, the Marin County Sheriff's Office, and the Marin County Office of Education. It's free for 65 boys and girls ages 11-13, but only if they are the most at-risk kids in their district. They enjoy all the usual summer camp adventures like swimming and sports, but they also get to hang out with police officers; see a police helicopter touch down at the camp; meet firemen who visit with their trucks, and see a search and rescue mission up close.

Over the years, the camp has proven that when kids build relationships with police, they are less likely to be destructive as teens. Take 16-year-old David Bosshard for example. He first attended Camp Chance when he was younger, and returned this year as a counselor. His Dad had been in and out of jail, and he claims camp gave him a focus for his future.  "This program changed my life," he said. "I had no plan as to what my future would be. After my first time at Camp Chance, I knew I wanted to be involved in law enforcement."

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