Chad Henderson has discovered the best part of summer camp: "Meeting new friends," he said.
Chad is among 42 youths who attended the week-long Sheriff's Office Youth Summer Camp last week.
The Columbia County Sheriff's office recruited elementary and middle schoolers ages 10-12 for the camp which was held at the Central Christian Church Camp Association property on Ridge Road.
"These are children who are well deserving and would really benefit from a summer camp," said Leslie Himebaugh, a deputy with the Columbia County Sheriff's Office.
The camp is supported through sponsors, such as the church which let the sheriff's office use their property for the overnight camp. Club Car, which donated $1,000, and Wal-Mart, which donated $500, were the largest sponsors, Ms. Himebaugh said.
Though camp has been held for the past two years, this is the first year the Sheriff's Office has offered an overnight camping experience.
Campers started their day at 7:45 a.m. for the flag ceremony, ate breakfast, then attend educational sessions, with guest speakers ranging from firemen to a Native American who came to demonstrate a tribal dance.
"Swimming, boating, fishing - it's everything you imagine a summer camp would be," said Himebaugh. "But we hope that they learn something, too."
The Sheriff's Office K-9 unit also came to talk to campers about drug abuse and the harmful effects of drugs on the body. There were also discussions about relationship building and how to handle conflict.
But the evenings were reserved for fun: campfires, talent shows and movie nights.
"It's been a full day," Himebaugh said Tuesday afternoon. "By Friday we'll be tired."
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