Two Jackson County youths attended the Indiana Sheriff's Association Youth Leadership Camp. From left are Bailey Davis, Colin Fisher and Reserve Deputy Scott Davis. Submitted

Earlier this month, Bailey Davis and Colin Fisher from Jackson County attended the Indiana Sheriff’s Association Youth Leadership Camp at Camp Waycross in Brown County with Jackson County Reserve Office Scott Davis.

The Indiana Sheriffs Leadership Camp, founded in 1980, was established by sheriffs to aid and enhance the development of the state’s youth.

Originally called the Indiana Sheriffs Career Camp, the camp’s name was changed in 2003 to go along with a new curriculum.

The program is designed to achieve three basic objectives, according to a news release from the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department.

First, the association wants to foster a stronger relationship between Hoosier youth and the men and women who enforce the laws. Second, the association wants to give children, who ordinarily would not have the opportunity, a chance for a summer camp experience. Third, the association wants to give youth a chance to build character and inspire leadership skills.

Sheriffs’ officers who establish positive and friendly relationships with campers are smoothly integrated into recreational learning experiences. Team sports also are emphasized as a vehicle to reach comradeship and discipline. These qualities, learned at a young age, can last a lifetime.

Sheriffs and deputies spend a great deal of time with the kids. Many of the deputies conduct demonstrations in the fields of boat and water safety, K-9 demonstrations, defensive tactics and leadership skills, just to mention a few.

As part of the program’s emphasis on youth development and good citizenship, guest lecturers, who provide informative programs on how our government works and why our laws exist, are enlisted to speak to the campers.

Other programs are geared to teach the campers of drug and alcohol abuse. It is the sheriff’s goal to teach every child a healthy respect for our laws and our democratic process.