Shining Star camps develop relationship between law enforcement, youth

Combined staff and submitted report
Posted 7/28/16

ROBERTSDALE, Alabama — The Baldwin County Sheriff’s Department has completed three successful Shining Start Youth Camps this summer and officials say it’s not too late to sign up for the last …

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Shining Star camps develop relationship between law enforcement, youth

Posted

ROBERTSDALE, Alabama — The Baldwin County Sheriff’s Department has completed three successful Shining Start Youth Camps this summer and officials say it’s not too late to sign up for the last camp, which is set for Aug. 3-6 in Bay Minette.

“Sheriff (Hoss) Mack charged us to develop a positive relationship between youth and law enforcement,” said Cpl. Jeff Spaller. “We’re here to show them what we do on a daily basis and to show them that we are just like everyone they know. We are fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters, sons and daughters. We have simply been charged to protect and serve.”

Eight years ago, Spaller, school resource officer with the BCSO, created the Shining Star Camp for boys and girls ages 8 to 13. The program’s goal is to build life skills, instill confidence and develop self-esteem.

This year, a fourth venue was added and more than 300 boys and girls have participated at camps so far this summer at Spanish Fort Middle, Fairhope Intermediate and Central Baldwin Middle.

“We are continuing to sign up campers for the final camp,” Spaller said, which will be held at Baldwin County High School, “but slots are filling up fast.”

The curriculum includes a wide range of activities that will incorporate teamwork, physical fitness and general sheriff’s office information. This program is a cooperative effort by several public safety and public service agencies throughout Baldwin County, which provide knowledge in a safe and fun environment.

Activities include drug awareness with K-9 demonstrations, crime scene investigations, firearm safety, boater safety with simulators, fire safety, physical health information, bowling, obstacle courses, guest speakers, family fun day and many other activities.

The camp staff is made up of volunteers of the Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office as well as other participating agencies. The camp fee is $30 and includes three camp shirts, activities and a meal on family day.

Camp applications can be picked up at the Baldwin County Sheriff’s Offices in Bay Minette, Fairhope, Foley and Robertsdale and are available online at sheriff.baldwincountyal.gov.

Checks should be made payable to the Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office Foundation. Completed applications can be returned to Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office, attention Tracey Jones, 310 Hand Ave., Bay Minette, AL 36507.

For more information, call Tracey Jones at 251-972-6890.