Greenville summer camp breaks down barriers between youth and law enforcement

BEREA, S.C. (WSPA) – A Greenville summer camp is breaking down the barriers between law enforcement and at-risk youth.

The Greenville County Sheriff’s Office is hosting its annual Marcus Whitfield Youth Camp this week at Berea High School.

During the week-long camp, middle and high schoolers work directly with law enforcement on team building activities, games and community service.

The camp lets students see that sheriff’s deputies are just people underneath their uniforms and gives them positive role models to look up to.

“To have the youth, who might be subject to some of the negative stories, have them actually get on a personal level with law enforcement, one on one, not in a uniform but in this type of attire, get engaged with us, it’s awesome and it really opens their eyes,” said sergeant Ryan Flood.

The camp was named after a fallen deputy who was killed in action in 1999.

It carries on his legacy of reaching out to the youth in the community.

Over the camp’s 17 years, it has made a positive impact on a lot of the students who participate.

Some have come back to the camp as junior counselors and one even became a sheriff’s deputy.

“That’s one of the key aspects too, is seeing the transitions of the attitudes of some of the kids who might not want to come in the beginning, but by that fifth day they’ve built new friendships, their relationships with the officers and counselors has developed and progressed that much more, the smiles on their faces, it’s awesome to see,” Flood said.

The camp is going on now through Friday, July 21.

It’s free for students to attend and space is still available.

For more info and to register your child, click here.

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