TATAMAGOUCHE - Tim Horton Children’s Camp in Tatamagouche will play host to about 70 Grade 7 students from Annapolis County and 30 junior leaders as they prepare for an action-packed three days of outdoor fun, team building and leadership activities.
What was once intended to be a one-time event has become a much-anticipated annual tradition for middle-school students that participate in the Annapolis County Cops ‘n Kids program. During the retreat from April 11 to 13, participants will engage in activities designed to increase self-confidence and self-esteem, as well as teach leadership skills.
The progression to junior high school is a very vulnerable time for children, a time when positive experiences have a great impact on shaping their outlook and choices in life. The students selected to participate in the Cops ‘n’ Kids program benefit from positive interactions with other youth and adults as they deal with issues of negative peer pressure, bullying and low self esteem. Senior high students are selected to serve as teen role models/junior leaders for the younger participants. This gives students an opportunity to interact with older students who understand many of the issues facing youth today.
“As they progress through the year, seeing the kids blossom, learn new skills, gain confidence and make new friends makes it all worth it,” said Const. David Fairfax, Cops ‘n Kids coordinator and RCMP Community Safety Resource Officer. “The program makes a difference in their lives.”
During the school year the students develop ideas and undertake special group projects that help to better their communities in some way. The projects challenge the youth to think about crime prevention and how they can make their communities safer places to live and play. One of the highlights of the weekend retreat is the opportunity for the students to present their completed projects to their peers.
“These projects clearly show what can happen when we empower youth in the things that are important to them. We’re instilling skills that will continue to benefit them as well as our communities for years to come,” said Fairfax.
In addition to their project presentations, there will be group discussions, challenging activities like rock climbing and archery, a huge indoor campfire, as well as interactive demonstrations from various RCMP units. Adult volunteers and the 30 junior leaders will accompany the participants.