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The Plymouth County DARE camp is taking place at Whitman-Hanson High School this week, with education taking place in a fun setting.
The DARE (Drug & Alcohol Resistance Education) camp is a free summer program for kids in Plymouth County. It’s the 16th year that District Attorney Tim Cruz and his office have hosted the camp.
Barbara Faherty, the Executive Director of Community Programs at the DA’s Office, says the lessons range in all types.
“All the officers are here in T-shirts and shorts, so it kind of takes away that formality from the kids, and the kids aren’t afraid to approach the DARE Officer, the police officer,” said Faherty. “They see them in a different light, that they’re part of the community. They’re not just there upholding the law…and they’re not somebody these children should be afraid of.”
From tug of war, to dodgeball, to football games hundreds of kids are taking part in the camp.
“It’s awesome. I love being here,” said 10-year-old Samantha Baptiste of Wareham. “I just think this camp is amazing, I think everyone should come.”
“It’s great. There’s so many activities,” said Dylan Perault, an 11-year-old from Whitman. “There’s a lot of friends here, old friends that you see.”
Kids are split up into groups, but away from their towns. They’re shy early in the week, but make new friends as the camp comes to a close.
“It’s good to get to know the kids,” said Timothy Cleary, the Marshfield School Resource Officer. “They get to know us outside of the uniform, and they get to know us on a personal level.”
On Tuesday, the kids got to check out a National Guard Blackhawk helicopter flown in from Otis Air Base on the Cape.
Chief Warrant Officer 3 Daniel MacSwain and Chief Warrant Officer 2 Patricia Lopresti answered questions and let the kids tour the aircraft.
Many of the students were all smiles as they got to learn outside of a classroom.
“I wanted to learn, experience new stuff, and meet new people,” said Raeghan Blake, a 10-year-old from Wareham. “It’s awesome, I love it here, and it’s great.”
Hanson Police Officer Bill Frazier says the is great for everyone involved.
“We want to teach the kids that police are approachable. We’re here to help you, we’re here to help you make good decisions,” said Frazier. “We want to be positive role models for these kids as well.”