HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – One staple of summer for kids in the Tennessee Valley is summer camp. This week, school resource officers in Huntsville and Madison County are hosting a session to encourage kids to stay on the right track.
Throughout the week, 7th and 8th graders are learning important life lessons at Whitesburg Middle School. They earned the chance to participate based on their grades.
“We’re trying to reward the good kids. The kids we don’t get to deal with in the school year,” said Matt Cagle, a resource officer for Madison County Schools. “The kids that have done what they are supposed to, good grades, stayed out of trouble — and we reward them with this camp.”
Part of that reward is using those kids who walk the line to preach the gospel of good behavior to younger kids.
“When I was a seventh or eighth grader I didn’t have people to tell me these things,” said Jonathan Shields, a student at Buckhorn High School. “So I wanted to give back to the kids and tell them things I wish I knew when I was their age.”
Part of that mission from the officers and the students is just to be the smart kid in the room.
“We try to teach them to stay out of trouble,” said Cagle. “How to stay away from gangs, stay away from drugs. How to deal with peer pressure when they come in those situations — what they need to do.”
For the students, the week-long camp is an eye-opener for what the school resource officers do.
“We weren’t really sure what they were gonna do. They were kinda joking around, but then they got down to business and when they told us about the camp, I thought this sounds really cool,” said Nate Kelton, a student at Whitesburg Middle School.
With the summer temperatures coming to a full boil, being cool is a really good thing for the resource officers’ camp.
Madison County Commission Chairman Mike Gillespie spoke to the campers on Tuesday morning. The camp is funded through donations from the Commission.