Camp Cadet gives young people a better understanding of police training and the Criminal Justice system.
This is not a recreational camp, nor is it a disciplinary camp for problem kids. Camp Cadet is designed to introduce campers to the world of law enforcement.
Located on the grounds of Camp Kweebec in Schwenksville, the program mimics actual police academy training.
Campers march everywhere in platoon formation. They rise early and prepare their quarters for inspection, and participate in a wide variety of instructional sessions.
They are trained by those who've lived regimented lives, the state police personnel who donate their time to the camp, and those who direct it.
"We work on teamwork skills as well as leadership, and that's something that is very important to us," said Trooper Morgan Crummy.
The camp is open to boys and girls, ages 11 to 13, which live in Philadelphia, Montgomery and Delaware counties.
Most have a keen interest in law enforcement and they address ALL adults as "sir" or "ma'am".
"I want to be a state trooper, Ma'am," says Jamie Hovanec.
The camp is free, funded through business and community donations.
Mock trials teach them about the law and to respect it. They learn about police radar, helicopter rescues, and using dogs in police work.
"They learn what they are capable of," says Tropper Crummy. "A lot of them believed that they are not capable of doing some of the challenges we put them through. And once they achieve them, they leave here with a sense that they have truly accomplished something."
Sessions at Camp Cadet last only one week, but counselors say they leave very different young men and women. And many campers do go on to careers in law enforcement or the military.