By Mark Boshnack Staff Writer
The Daily Star
---- — About 40 children from this area could have a life-changing experience this week thanks to the support of the public and the state Sheriff’s Association.
Otsego and Delaware County children ages 9-12 left from a site in Milford on Sunday for a week at the Sheriff’s Summer Camp in Yates County on Keuka Lake, said Otsego County Sheriff Richard J. Devlin Jr.
His agency sent 18, and more than 20 sponsored were sponsored by Delaware County deputies, Devlin said.
Campers participate in typical activities, including archery, sailing, boating, hiking and talent shows. They also experience technical and safety demonstrations by deputies including scuba diving, K-9 handling, bicycle and board safety.
It provides a solid recreational program while stressing basic values and good citizenship, said Devlin. It gives campers get “an insiders look at the world of law enforcement.” It helps campers see deputies and other police agencies in a more positive way and shows them how to be responsible adults.
Children from the county who meet the criteria are recruited starting in February, Delaware County Sheriff Tom Mills said. Donations to the Institute give an experience to someone who otherwise might not have the chance.
“It’s a neat opportunity,” he said.
The camp is supported by donations to the Sheriff’s Association Institute. Now in its 37th year of operation, the camp will allow more than 900 boys and girls to attend at no charge.
Institute Executive Director Christopher O’Brien said while each session is one week, “we try to instill positive goals and beliefs.” By allowing them to set goals and be successful at camp activities, “we believe it can change their lives and influence their future.”
More information on the program can be found at www.sheriffsinstitute.org.