The Rolesville Police Department held its first ever summer camp program this year from July 28 through August 1 for children ages 9-12 yrs. old. Camp CARE (Commitment, Accountability, Respect, Excellence) focuses on helping kids understand the need to make good choices and the consequences of their choices.
Officer Bobby Langston of the Rolesville Police Department understands the need to reach children of this age and offer a positive environment in which to teach them team work and getting along with others. Instruction also emphasizes bullying prevention, Internet safety, and drug and alcohol education.
Officers, both on their own time and on duty, come to supply the Internet and bullying education, while the Alice Aycock Poe Center for Health Education in Raleigh handles the drug and alcohol education.
Sports are also an important part of the camp, and the kids get to try many they may not have participated in previously, such as badminton, dodge ball, whiffle ball, flag football, cheerleading, kickball, basketball and volleyball.
In addition to the educational and sports-related activities, campers are also introduced to exciting experiences like a visit from the Wake Med hospital helicopter and the Rolesville Fire Department.
Officers all wear brightly colored T-shirts, not their uniforms, to ensure a causal, non-intimidating environment. There are also several junior counselors who help the officers while getting the benefits of the program.
Campers come from all socioeconomic backgrounds and it’s racially diverse as well as a good mix of boys and girls.
The camp was funded by a grant from Wake County ABC and the goal next year is to have the town of Rolesville provide money to ensure it continues.
This year, its first season, there were 51 kids enrolled, which is the number Langston would like to keep it at. In the future, he would like to have two one-week camps but keep the number of campers at 50.
This year there was enough need that a few kids were on the waiting list in case of cancellations or no-shows. Langston is hopeful next year everyone who wants to participate will have a chance.
Langston received support from the communities of Rolesville and Wake Forest by means of donated lunches for the campers and counselors. Chick-fil-A of Wake Forest, Little Caesers Pizza of Wake Forest, and McDonalds of Rolesville all donated. Christ the Word Church of Wake Forest provided breakfast for counselors and junior counselors.
Langston is excited about Camp CARE and its future in Rolesville. Knowing the odds can be against all kids, he’s hopeful that the impact will be far-reaching but he’s realistic. “If it helps one child, then it’s a success,” he said.