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Etowah County 2nd annual DARE camp

Published: Apr. 26, 2022 at 10:20 PM CDT
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ETOWAH COUNTY, Ala. (WBRC) - The Etowah County Sheriff’s Office hosted their 2nd annual D.A.R.E Camp for fifth-grade students. Sheriff Jonathan Horton hopes it still steers kids away from using drugs.

The DARE Program is a 10-week course for fifth graders in Etowah County Schools and this one-day camp allows them to apply the things they’ve learned to real-life situations.

“Interactive stations and instructions on a mock crime scene they get to do the impaired vision course where they see the effects of alcohol or substances while operating a vehicle in other simple tasks. Then they have fun things,” says Sheriff Horton. “They get to climb the rock wall. Several different events they can participate in.”

Sheriff Horton believes a large part of a child becoming successful is teaching them the importance of making good choices and the dangers of drug abuse.

“We also teach anti-bullying,” says Sheriff Horton. “How to resist alcohol drugs and different peer pressures that could lead them down the wrong road. We try to focus not necessarily on if you do things wrong there are bad consequences. But if you make the right decision here’s great rewards that come from it.”

Educators in Etowah County Schools say these are foundational years for students and they need programs like this, especially before going to middle school.

“I think it’s great,” says Jonah Bobo. “Especially stuff like this gets them out of their shell a little more to let them experience being around other kids. They’re about to go to middle school and be bombarded with new people. I think it’s good socially for them.”

Lora Hill is a school counselor and she can recall the impact the D.A.R.E program had on her and she’s glad her students got the same experience.

“I remember when I went to DARE CAMP as a kid. It was impactful,” says Hill. “I remember it even today you know the kids really enjoy this. They get to kind of see what officers get to do and how important it is to stay on the right path.”

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