Campers assemble at the 2011 West Virginia Sheriffs' Association Youth Leadership Academy. Cadets are identified by their gray shirts with junior counselors in blue and senior counselors in yellow. This year's camp runs July 15-20 at Camp Ona in Milton.
Deputy Chad "Big Country" Barker stands accused of drunk driving at the 2011 West Virginia Sheriffs' Association Youth Leadership Academy mock trial. He was found guilty of the charge, which occurred during the camp's mock accident.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Summer is coming soon, and with it come summer camps. One summer camp is the West Virginia Sheriffs' Association Youth Leadership Academy. The camp is run by the West Virginia Sheriffs' Association and takes place July 15-20 at Camp Ona in Milton. This is its 18th year in existence.The sheriffs' camp is a leadership camp, not a boot camp. It is a week long and run almost entirely by people involved in police enforcement. A lot of the camp's staff members are sheriffs and deputy sheriffs."This year we will be shooting clays, .22 rifles and air soft guns. We will also get to canoe, swim at Marshall University and have a mock accident and mock trial at the Cabell County Courthouse in Huntington," said West Virginia Sheriffs' Association Executive Director Rudi Kidder."Along with our normal cabins, we're also bringing in air conditioned military tents, which are pretty cool!" she added and promised there will be "awesome food."
Kidder is in charge of the camp, but she said that she receives a lot of help from sheriffs and deputies all over the state. She also said, "We have a lot of great sponsors helping us out this year."The camp will accept about 150 kids, who are called cadets during the camp. Students going into ninth grade in the fall will have first dibs on these slots. The rest will go to returning junior and senior counselors.Applications for counselors are being sent out now. Cadets can get applications from their local sheriffs' office or by emailing Kidder at firstname.lastname@example.org
. The cost is $50 for the camp, and part of the money pays for five camp shirts the camper will wear during the day at camp."Campers will learn a lot about law enforcement and local government when they have their own election," Kidder said, "But we will also have several dances and karaoke!"