Teamwork it’s written on each of the camper's shirts and it’s something that they’ll use to climb over obstacles at camp. It’s also something the Sheriff hopes they’ll apply once they leave this camp.
“If you act up, you are going to affect the rest of the team,” said Bannock County Sheriff Lorin Nielsen. “And if you are good at this, you are no good if you don’t get the rest of the team to follow you and so working together they are going to make a difference.”
Making a difference is more than just lip service for the sheriff who has hosted this camp at Camp Taylor for 14 of the last 17 years. Making a difference is the primary goal and he says it’s very important for this young age group.
“I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, this is the time when the cement is still wet and any scars or marks, you can smooth off with just a small smooth,” said Nielsen. When that cement gets hard, it takes a hammer and a chisel to get some of those things off and I would rather do it now than wait 'til later.”
The Sheriff’s Camp hasn’t always been a sure thing. In fact just last year it returned from a brief hiatus but Nielsen believes the camp is on good footing and should be around for many years to come.
“It’s become kind of an institution for us,” said Nielsen. “The kids look forward to it. Most of the community does too. We’ve got the Army Reserve that’s helping us today and they planned it a year in advance.”
The program seems to be working at least for the blue team.
“We love it!”
This year’s camp had 40 kids between the ages of 10-13 attend. The camp runs through Thursday.