LIMA — Students who have completed the D.A.R.E. program offered through the Allen County Sheriff’s Office are being rewarded this week during the program’s annual summer camp.
From bowling to roller skating to swimming and games, the 40-plus youths enrolled in this year’s camp have enjoyed a myriad of daily activities at the Youth Building at the Allen County Fairgrounds during the three-day event that concludes on Thursday.
Wednesday’s lineup included a trip to the Schoonover Park swimming pool in the morning and a show by magician/ventriloquist Mike Hemmelgarn in the afternoon. The campers, most of whom will enter the sixth grade in a few weeks, all seemed to be having a wonderful time.
D.A.R.E., an acronym for Drug Abuse Resistance Education, provides students from kindergarten through high school with the skills necessary to recognize and resist pressures to experiment with drugs and to avoid gangs and violence.
Lessons emphasize self-esteem, decision making, interpersonal communications skills, the consequences of drug abuse and positive alternatives to substance abuse.
Sheriff’s Deputy Damian Tibbs, a school resource officer during the school year, said the campers earn points for various activities and good deeds, such as donating groceries to food banks. At the end of the camp the youths with the most points will be rewarded with gold, silver or bronze medals.
“Everybody walks away with something,” Tibbs said.