The Bellefontaine Police Department recently hosted the annual DARE camp at the YMCA Camp Willson in Bellefontaine. The BPD has been hosting the DARE camp for more than 20 years now.
The camp is for students entering 5th grade for the upcoming school year in Logan County.
The DARE Program Officers are Pat Tynan, Isaac Chiles, and Doug Walters. Officer Walters explains what the Bellefontaine Police Department’s DARE Camp is and what it provides for the campers:
The exciting fun-filled day camp fills up very quickly. The police department takes 20 students each week, with two groups for two weeks, allowing a total of 40 students to come to camp. Registration is first come first serve.
Campers do many outdoor activities that Camp Willson offers, including the Giant Swing, Leap of Faith, team-building activities, swimming, fishing, boating, archery, high rope adventures, and other team-building activities.
Campers also get to experience animals through animal adventure. A Ball Python, a friendly pet snake, is shown to students and they learn about it. Different turtles, such as a Water Turtle and a Box Turtle, are also shown. Campers also learn about different hydes and taxidermy. A petting farm and livestock with farm animals are at a different camp on the other side of the lake that’s not used due to staffing issues.
Some topics covered during camp are relationship-building, decision-making, personal growth, responsibility, and drug abuse prevention.
Camp Willson provides all the facilities, lunch, and the camp counselor.
The camp was completely free and transportation to and from Camp Willson was arranged through Bellefontaine City Schools, or campers were privately transported.