Written by Community Editor Nicole FoulkeThe Montgomery County Camp Cadet, run by the Pennsylvania State Police, concluded its 18th year Friday in Limerick, following a week of team-building exercises, camp fun, and activities prepared by local law enforcement officers who took time out of their schedules to show the campers, 11 years old to 14 years old, what it is really like to be a police officer, a state trooper, and more.
A medic helicopter touched down, just for the campers. There was a SWAT vehicle. Wagging dogs that work in law enforcement and search and rescue. Officers drove over to Camp Kweebec in Limerick, which hosts Camp Cadet, and fielded questions as the campers explored their vehicles and took turns sitting in the driver’s seat. There was the opportunity to try on a neon yellow practice HazMat suit.
Camp Cadet campers are taught discipline. They marched in drills, shot rifles, participated in team-building exercises, used a zip line, and more. The campers were taught to think, for instance, when they jumped in and handled a simulated crime scene investigation where campers participated in the process of ‘setting up’ a crime scene, to ‘arresting’ a suspect, to the point where they ‘served’ a warrant.
From Aug. 11 through Aug. 16, the 72 campers had experiences that most children will never have. According to camp Director Morgan Crummy, a Pennsylvania state trooper, there are also some similarities between the camp and a police cadet training.
“Tuck your shirt in!” Crummy called out cheerfully to a camper on Friday. “We mix the police stuff and the military stuff with fun. They’re kids after all,” she said.
Crummy is the Community Services Officer of the Troop K State Police station in Skippack, and she enjoys spending part of her year planning for the camp.
According to Limerick police Detective Ernie Morris, while the camp is Montgomery county-based, it is open to children from Delaware county and Philadelphia, too.
The camp seems to have had an impact on some of the campers, said Morris. “Now you’re staring to see kids in the police academy and the military that went through the camp,” he said.
There is even more for the two lucky campers who are chosen to go to Honor Camp each year after the camp adults assess the campers. Each county Cadet Camp in the state chooses both a male and female camper to attend the Honor Camp in Harrisburg in the next year. The campers dine at the governor’s mansion and do more. “It’s 10 times more elite,” said Morris.
But it is clear that Crummy is proud of all of the campers. “You see them grow, kind of shy in the beginning, but at the end of the week they are loud and proud,” she said.
The camp is funded by private individuals and businesses. Campers pay a fee of $45 for their camp experience. For more information, click here to visit the camp Website. To make a donation to Montgomery County Camp Cadet, clickhere.