The Arkansas City Police Department is seeking funds to help to pay for this summer’s DARE Camp.

“Our annual summer DARE Camp for sixth- through eighth-graders is scheduled for August 6-10 at Camp Quaker Haven,” said ACPD School Resource Officer Chase Hobart.

During the camp, ACPD provides two meals and snacks for more than 100 campers each year.

There are games and activities at the camp that can mean additional costs to the department.

“Not to mention the cost of developing our educational scenario that helps us shed light for our middle school campers on topics such as teen drug use and alcohol abuse, peer pressure, and other risks,” Hobart said.

ACPD collaborates with other departments and with guest speakers who are able to bring more value to the camp as a whole.

This year, the department is organizing a community-wide co-ed softball tournament to raise funds.

The tournament date has been scheduled tentatively for July 21 at the Ark City High School South Sports Complex.

“Each team involved in the tournament will have a specifically designed T-shirt that they will wear,” Hobart said.

These T-shirts will have the name or logo of the company or organization that has donated to the cause.

The size of the print on the T-shirts is dependent upon the amount of money that has been donated. The levels are $250, $500 and $1,000.

“We look forward to this awesome opportunity to work with you and your company while striving for success with our upcoming events,” Hobart said in a letter to local business owners.

He has been involved with the planning of the DARE Camp for several years.

Each year features a scenario in which students learn more about the effects and consequences of substance abuse or peer pressure.

For instance, in 2016, the camp followed a fabricated police case in which there was a foot chase.

Participants watched a crime scene scenario and helped with the “investigation.”

Other organizations participating in the 2016 camp included the Arkansas City Fire-EMS Department, the Cowley County Drug Task Force, EagleMed, the Kansas Highway Patrol and South Central Kansas SWAT.

“DARE Camp is truly a memorable week that campers talk about years after and it is my wish to continue carrying on that tradition,” Hobart said.

“I appreciate you seeing the importance of this outreach to our youth in our community and I cannot wait to see what the future holds for Ark City Police Department.”