The Scotland County Sheriff’s Office held its third annual Gang Resistance Education and Training (GREAT) summer camp at Sycamore Lane Middle School last month.
The GREAT curriculum is taught by certified instructors and law enforcement officers through the Scotland County School System.
Students had the opportunity to explore activities dealing with cultural awareness, building self-esteem, community outreach organizations, and leadership and humanity issues.
Some 55 students aged 10-12 participated in this year’s camp July 16-20. Lessons included obesity prevention, discovering talents, and forming friendships, as well as identifying and preventing bullying and peer pressure.
Field trips included visiting the Laurinburg Fire Department, the Ft. Bragg military base, the aviation museum in Fayetteville, laser tag, culinary arts, and roller skating.
“The 2012 GREAT summer camp was a fantastic experience for the students. The goal is to impress upon youths that there are many positive alternatives in life. My staff, local businesses, and community leaders were committed to helping educate the kids by allowing them to explore other options in life than gangs,” said Sheriff Shep Jones.
Local businesses donated snacks and supplies and provided meals, helping camp to remain completely free of cost to students’ families.