In 2012, an estimated 38 million Americans enjoyed camping, and just as many are expected to follow suit this coming summer. However, some people may be less likely to set off on one of these classic adventures than others: after all, from the cost of a tent and other necessary gear to the price of a campsite, camping can be an expensive ordeal. For this reason, an organization is holding an honorary membership drive to fund a summer camp for children in Oneida County and across New York State, giving potential attendees the chance to experience the great outdoors.
The New York State Sheriff’s Association Institute is holding a drive to benefit its week-long Sheriff’s Summer Camp. For 38 years, this event has welcomed more than 800 children from across the state to a spot on Keuka Lake. This year’s camp will be held the week of June 21 and help participants benefit from a true camping and summer camp experience.
“During that week, we’re there trying to get them to establish a goal or objective,” said Executive Director Chris O’Brien said. “The classic example is a child who is afraid of the water, but slowly and surely accomplishes their goal to swim through positive support to do something. What we want them to take home with them is the understanding that if they set their mind to do something, they can do it. Hopefully, it brings a life-long lesson.”
Campers will be able to take part in events like archery and sailing, but the program also aims to teach children an understanding of laws and law enforcement through a variety of special activities. Program representatives also say that the camp is an important resource for economically disadvantaged children, who might otherwise be unable to experience the joys of camping and the great outdoors.
O’Brien says that by becoming an honorary member, sponsors can help 20 children from Oneida County attend the camp this year. Those interested in taking part simply need to visit www.sheriffsinstitute.org to download an application. The $25 honorary membership due will go to the camp and disenfranchised campers.
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