Now that school is closed for summer, the Royal Bahamas Police Force (RBPF) is getting set to launch its 19th annual summer programme this coming Monday.
The programme has grown by leaps and bounds over the years, attracting thousands of young kids and according to police officials this year is expected to be no different.
Assistant Commissioner of Police Leon Bethel said youngsters look forward to the programme and the officers use it as an opportunity to entertain, instruct and assist in the children’s development.
“This programme is designed to engage the youth, which is consistent with the commissioner’s policing plan,” ACP Bethel said.
“By engaging our youth we have an opportunity to understand some of the issues that are important to the youth and to assist in their direction and assist in their growth. We are happy to be able to put this camp on once again.”
The police force has partnered with the Ministry of Education to include teacher’s aides who will assist with the programme’s educational component.
Civic organisations like the AIDS Secretariat and the National Child Protection Unit have also stepped forward.
“From these partnerships we will have a good opportunity to educate, to give life learning information to these children so that they could grow up to be productive citizens. We are investing in our children; they are our future. So you will see a lot of time and effort from the police officers and the civic group, other ministries and also the business community playing a major role in what we do.”
The force is also encouraging and appealing to members of the business community and the wider public to participate.
Each police division will maintain a summer camp and officials expect as much as 300-400 kids per camp.
The programme will also run in all of the major Family Islands.
In addition to the educational components, campers will also participate in other activities, including arts and craft, field trips and sports.
It is being offered free of charge and is open to all students.
The programme begins on Monday with an opening ceremony at Bethel Baptist Church, followed by a procession to Police Headquarters.
At that point, the participants will be divided into the various camps based on the area they live in.
The six-week programme will culminate with a basketball tournament sponsored by Coca-Cola.