The Arkansas City Police Department is raising funds for its annual DARE Camp, which is provided free of charge to incoming sixth- through eighth-graders who reside within the Arkansas City Public School District.
It is part of an ongoing effort by ACPD officers to try to educate students throughout the school year about the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse. This year, the camp will
be held Aug. 7-11 at Camp Quaker Haven.
Applications for the camp can be picked up and returned at the Arkansas City Police Department, located at 117 W. Central Ave. No applications will be accepted after July 21 because police need an exact count of participants.
Individual and corporate sponsorships for the camp are still available. Sponsorship tiers are:
- Bronze level — $50 to $99;
- Silver level — $100 to $249;
- Gold level — $250 to $499;
- Platinum level — $500 or more.
The funds received will help to cover expenses such as facility rentals, food for each camper, supplies for activities, guest speakers and transportation.
Those who choose to donate will be recognized on Facebook and at an Arkansas City Area Chamber of Commerce meeting held after the conclusion of DARE Camp.
Those who are interested in donating should call Officer Chase Hobart or Officer Brian McGee at (620) 441-4444.
Donations may be mailed to the Arkansas City Police Department, 117 W. Central Ave., Arkansas City, KS 67005.
About DARE Camp
DARE Camp is one week long and consists of a variety of activities. Last year’s camp saw 75 to 80 campers daily.
Among the activities was a “real-life scenario” that included investigating a drug house.
While investigating, the students learned proper evidence collection procedures, how to track a suspect, interviewing and interrogation processes, how the apprehension of suspects is handled and the judicial process.
There also was a mock funeral held for a victim who “passed away” as a result of making bad choices.
Several guest speakers visited with the students during the course of the week.
In the afternoons, the students participated in physical activities, such as swimming, slip-and-slide kickball, beach volleyball, archery, paintball sling shot and a giant water slide.
New features in 2017
This year, DARE Camp will feature another real-life scenario that involves current issues kids might face in their own lives, such as substance abuse, inappropriate relationships, sexting, cyber bullying and other relevant topics.
The scenario will be followed with guest speakers each day, according to Hobart. Some of the speakers include:
- District Court Judge Nick St. Peter;
- Dr. Eric Thomson, with South Central Kansas Clinic;
- Graves Drug pharmacist Johnathan Hansen;
- Four County Mental Health counselors;
- Arkansas City Middle School counselors;
- A&E television star Joseph Schillaci.
Schillaci will be in attendance with his professional-level presentation. He talks to children about bullying, and will share his very own personal testimony about decisions he made in his life that impacted himself and others.
After lunch each day, campers in attendance will have the opportunity to have some fun outdoors, Hobart said.
Some of this year’s afternoon activities will include swimming, hiking and many other water games, including the return of slip-and-slide kickball.
“I can’t give away all of my secrets about what to expect,” Hobart said in a recent news release. “You will just have to sign up and come see for yourself!”