Youth Adventure Camp Set For August 12-16Aug 8th, 2013 | By Jacob | Category: Community News, Outdoors
The Madison County Sheriff’s Office will be facilitating a five day Youth Adventure Camps for girls Aug. 12-16. The Sheriff’s Office started these camps last summer when they hosted their first camp for boys. The boys ranged in ages from 9-16. Captain Mark W. Joost and Deputy Tracy W. Dowdy were the primary facilitators for the camp, but many others helped to make the week a success. The vision for these camps started approximately seven years prior while Capt. Joost was assisting Sheriff Ben J. Stewart campaign for sheriff. Around that time, Joost transported two suicidal nine-year-old boys to a mental health facility in Tallahassee. Sheriff Stewart and Capt. Joost had encountered countless similar situations during their law enforcement careers. Prior to this, Capt. Joost had been facilitating overnight youth kayak, canoe and hiking trips through his church and both law enforcement officers had been doing weekly Bible studies through a local juvenile detention facility. For many years, the law enforcement officers witnessed the struggles that families in their community had to deal with. For some, it may be single parent households. For others, it may be two parents struggling to make ends meet. They discussed the potential benefits of reaching out to the youth of our community while demonstrating life skills. They felt this adventure camp concept would draw boys and girls away from TVs, computers, cell phones and destructive activities while encouraging a passion for adventure. These law enforcement officers noted an unfortunate dynamic concerning the youth they came in contact with in their profession as well as through the juvenile detention facility. A large number of these children come from broken homes, homes with preoccupied parents, or homes where both parents are struggling to support their families. Capt. Joost and Sheriff Stewart discussed the positive benefits of a faith-based mini leadership course for the youth of our county. They both felt that this was an important role for them as Christians and also a positive way for the Sheriff’s Office to connect with our community. Capt. Joost and Sheriff Stewart wanted to challenge the participants and expand their comfort zones while developing a sense of adventure and a love for the outdoors. Last year’s Youth Adventure Camp included the N.R.A. Basic Rifle class, hands-on firearms training, health and fitness training, archery, live K-9 tracks with the Madison Correctional Institution K-9 team, knot tying, rappelling, hiking, canoeing, kayaking, swimming, leadership and life skills. Fly-fishing and primitive knife making will also be added to this summer’s camp. The camps will take place from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m. Monday thru Friday. The camps are faith-based, but all youth… regardless of their spiritual beliefs… are welcome to attend. The Madison County Sheriff’s Office concealed carry weapon courses help finance these camps so they are free to the participants. If anyone, or any organization, would like to cook a meal, sponsor a meal, or donate for this camp, please contact Captain Joost. There will be 12 to 14 slots for this camp. Female sheriff office employees will be assisting as chaperones for the camp, but parents or guardians may also be able to assist if interested. If you are interested in reserving a slot for your 9 to 16 year old girl, please contact Captain Mark W. Joost at (850) 519-0947.
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