The camp was originally intended to be held last month but a death in the family of one of the counselors forced its postponement until this week, Tripp said. Seventy originally signed up before the delay but the camp this week has seen 45 children from across the county participate.
Thursday will be the last day.
For Tripp, the camp has been an important part of his administration and his Benefiting the Children of Halifax County campaign. “It helped me. It shows me how important it is to be available and accessible. We’re striving to put a positive face on law enforcement and hope to build a rapport with the youth.”
Children from across Halifax County received free transportation to the camp at the 4-H Rural Life Center with the assistance of the county school system in pickup and dropoff points in Enfield, Hollister, Roanoke Rapids and Weldon.
Next year’s camp will also be held at the Rural Life Center outside Halifax. “It’s just the ideal venue to have the kids camp.”
Outside the center, children had physical activities and participated in a bike rodeo. Inside they learned about ways to avoid becoming enticed into gang lifestyles and played a game of four corners before taking part in outside activities.
The county school system provided lunch and afternoon snacks.
“It’s a good look for the county,” said Porchea Ward, whose son participated in the camp and was one of several parents to attend.
Ward is a Halifax County Detention Center employee and said her son is fascinated with police. “We had got the flyers and thought this was pretty cool. I feel next year will be a bigger turnout.”
For the first camp of its kind for the sheriff’s office, Tripp said, “We’re going to take what we learned this year and make it better.”
Adding first responders will give the children a broader experience, the sheriff said. “First responders, EMTs and firefighters deal with law enforcement every day. It will give other agencies a chance to help us with the cause.”