Over the next two weeks Troup County Sheriff’s Office will once again hold its annual Sheriff’s Academy for Youth Camp (SAY). The event is an annual tradition for the Sheriff’s Office, who hosts around 50 children each year for a couple of weeks. The program is designed to show kids what it’s like to work in law enforcement.
The annual day camp is actually divided into two age groups, with the younger 9 and 10-year-old kids attending the first week and the older 11 and 12-yearold kids taking part the next week.
The camp functions as a traditional summer day camp would, where parents drop off registered kids at the Sheriff’s office each morning and pick them up later in the afternoon. The event is coordinated and ran by Sergeant Stewart Smith, who has overseen the event for the last several years.
Each day the kids meet different Sheriff’s office staff members, who serve as guest speakers throughout the week. During the week the campers learn about and are given first hand demonstrations on various aspects of the Sheriff’s Office including, the jail, patrol units, K-9 unit, investigations, narcotics, and administration. The attendees are also given lessons on gun safety, bullying, and boating and hunting safety by the Department of Natural Resources.
The kids also get to see the judicial side of law enforcement with a field trip to the court house, where they learn about courtroom procedure.
The goal of the camp is to establish positive relationships between law enforcement and kids, and hopefully to teach them something that they won’t pick up in school. The camp isn’t just law enforcement themed school though; the kids also get to have a lot of fun with various field trips throughout the week. In the past, the kids have enjoyed field trips to go skating, swimming, and to the movie theater.
The annual camp mixes learning about important safety and life skills with a fun environment to create an engaging experience for the local youth.
The Sheriff’s Academy for Youth Camp is sponsored by the Sheriff’s Office and Troup County Parks and Recreation. The camp has become a tradition here in the community and a helpful service for parents who just want a break from their kids during the summer.
The author of this article can be reached via email at tmurphy@troupcountynews. net.