Pennsylvania State Police offer Cadet Camp and Sunny Day Camp to make a positive impact08/08/2023 10:15AM ● By Steven Hoffman
Chester County Cadet Camp and Sunny Day Camp are fun opportunities to make a positive connection with the Pennsylvania State Police. Cadet Camp is a week-long overnight camp for children ages 11 to 13, while Sunny Day Camp is a one-day event for individuals of all ages with disabilities.
Chester County Camp Cadet will be held this year from Aug 13 to 18 at Camp Saginaw. Established in 1971, this is a free overnight camp run by Pennsylvania State Police Troopers and other local police officers. The program provides children with an understanding of law enforcement activities, plus it helps them feel comfortable with the law enforcement professionals who serve their communities. Cadets will learn about teamwork, making good decisions, self-discipline and, most importantly, have fun.
The Sunny Day Camp, scheduled for Sept. 23, is also a free event for children and adults with special needs, or disabilities and Special Olympics participants, and their families. This is an all-day event that has a police and community interaction.
Both camps are run by the Pennsylvania State Police and are held at various locations throughout the state.
Camp Cadet is a co-ed camp with a wide assortment of activities. Children experience team-building exercises, games, swimming, archery and zip lining. They learn CPR, take a tree adventure course, and practice mock traffic stops where they get to play the role of the police officer. There will be visits from the K-9 Unit, Bomb Squad, Helicopter Unit, visits from district court judges and classroom activities with safety tips and anti-bullying education programs.
“It’s a summer camp for kids to be able to have fun and interact with police on a positive note,” said Trooper Michael Carter from the Pennsylvania State Police, Troop J – Avondale station. Carter is a patrol trooper as well as the Community Service Officer (CSO). While serving in the role as CSO, he takes the responsibility of doing various events with the public.
“I love the programs so much that I am also a board member for the programs as well,” he said.
Camp Cadet receives positive feedback each year, and has even inspired some young people to pursue careers in law enforcement.
“A lot of them talk about it for years. We have troopers who went through Cadet Camp. It got them motivated to be a police officer,” Trooper Carter said.
This year, there are 80 campers registered for Camp Cadet, which will be conducted by 14 State Police Troopers and two local police officers, all of whom are volunteers. The camp’s director is Trooper Kelly MacIntyre.
Registration for this year is already closed, but there is still time to sign up for the Sunny Day Camp. Sunny Day Camp is a one-day, free camp for both children and adults with special needs or disabilities. It is also open to Special Olympics participants and their families. The camp runs from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Sept. 23 at the Penn Township Park.
The Sunny Day Camp was originally set up by Pennsylvania State Police Sgt. Samantha Minnucci, who was inspired by her own experiences with her brother who had a disability.
Participants will enjoy face painting, games, and show-and-tell with police cars. The local Fire Department will also be on hand and there will be police and fire vehicle displays. After lunch, at the end of day, participants will get graduation certificates.
Both camps are non-profit organizations, supported by donations and run by a volunteer board. More information on the camps and on becoming a board member as well as registration for Sunny Day Camp is available on the website at ww.cccampcadet.org