Langley RCMP’s annual Cadet Camp saw more than 100 kids having fun and learning about policing this July.
From July 3 to 5 at the Langley Events Centre, kids learned about RCMP marching drill, first aid, a bit of self defense, and studied a mock crime scene, said Cpl. Craig van Herk, head of Langley’s RCMP Youth Unit.
The RCMP and a group of volunteers shepherded the 102 kids who attended the event this year, with the 10- to 12-year-olds coming from all over the community.
It wasn’t just the RCMP featured at the event, though.
The kids got visits from Township firefighters, BC Ambulance paramedics, and members of the CN Police, a force that works on rail related security and crimes.
They also met up with many of the specialized units that perform policing duties in the Lower Mainland, including a canine from the Police Dog Unit.
Some of the kids even got to don the heavy armour and helmet of the Explosives Disposal Unit (EDU), a.k.a. the bomb squad.
Members of Langley Youth and Family Services worked as assistant troop leaders for the three units of kids taking part, and a number of the cadets were referred to the camp by LYFS.
For some kids, the camp is just an opportunity to have fun and learn, but for others, its a chance to have positive role models and friendly interactions with the police.
At the end of the three days, the kids had a graduation ceremony and received a badge acknowledging their efforts.
“Some of them, the pride on their face is amazing,” said van Herk.
This was the 14th annual Langley RCMP Cadet Camp, noted van Herk, and planning is already underway for the 15th next year.
The event isn’t a recruitment tool for the RCMP by any means, said van Herk, but it does tend to attract kids who might have the ambition to grow up to be police officers.
So far, the Langley RCMP doesn’t have any members who attended the Cadet Camp, but with the oldest graduates now in their mid-20s, he believes it’s only a matter of time.