DARE camp underway next week

Almost 70 district students will be spending a little more time under police supervision than they’re used to when the Drug and Alcohol Resistance Education (DARE) camp gets underway Monday at Sunny Cove.
“We’ve got a few things to iron out but, for the most part, we’re ready,” said Fort Frances OPP Cst. Mark Boileau, a local community services officer and DARE camp facilitator.
A joint effort of the OPP and the Rainy River District Substance Abuse Prevention (SAP) team, 68 grade five-six students who participated in the DARE program during the last school year will further their education–and have some fun–at the five-day camp.
“We’ve got tons of activities. We have our continuation of the drug awareness programming, conflict resolution lessons, and team-building activities,” enthused Cst. Boileau.
“Plus, there’ll be volleyball, canoeing, wilderness orienteering, and Henry Miller’s even going to stop by and show us how to build birdhouses,” he added.
One student who first learned about DARE this past school year was Ashley Sharp of Stratton, a grade five student at Our Lady of the Way.
“I think it will be fun,” she said, noting she was particularly looking forward to the swimming.
And the most important she got out of the DARE program in school? “They tell you not to do drugs,” she said.
Her mother, Teresa, wholeheartedly supports the idea behind the summer camp. “She really enjoyed [the DARE program] in school. I think it’s a good idea,” she remarked.
Supervision certainly won’t be a problem. Not only will OPP officers participate in the camp but volunteers from the community, such as some local school teachers, also will lend a hand.
“We have a lot of volunteers–some of whom are donating up to a week of their time–and that’s unbelievable,” said Cst. Boileau.
The youngsters also will get a closer look at some areas of policing outside of the community service aspect they’ve seen in the past school year from Cst. Boileau.
“We’ll have the K-9 unit, the marine unit, and the emergency response unit dropping by,” he noted.
With everything else falling into place, Cst. Boileau said he was ready to “DARE” the outdoors.
“The biggest thing right now is to get the weather to co-operate,” he laughed, referring to the dark skies this past Monday morning.