Several organizations participated in a summer send-off for area Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) students to start the week.
Better known as D.A.R.E. Camp, area fifth graders from around Sumner County converged at Wellington's Heritage Park for the event. On Monday, Wellington elementary school students along with those from Conway Springs experienced the camp. On Tuesday, Belle Plaine and Oxford students will do the same.
"...It's the end of the year, we just have a big celebration for them," said Wellington D.A.R.E. Instructor, and High School Resource officer, Bobby Wilson. The Wellington Police Department, Kansas Wildlife and Parks, Sumner County Sheriff's Office, Kansas Highway Patrol, the Sumner County Community Drug Action Team, and the Aviator Church all helped with D.A.R.E. Camp 2012. Members of the Wichita Wild indoor football team were also in Wellington to speak with the students.
Each organization ran a station at the event- from the Wildlife and Parks air-boat, to the Aviator Church's inflatable obstacle course. There was also a beer-goggle course set up, and a "seat-belt convincer" machine. Retired Wellington Police Dog, Chaos was even on hand for a demonstration. Kids got to learn a little more about law enforcement during the camp.
"Also what we're trying to do here is bridge that gap between the different law enforcement agencies here," Wilson said. "The old adage is the police are here to get them in trouble and that's definitely not the case, we're here to keep them out of trouble." Wilson says D.A.R.E. Camp is a good reminder for the lessons the students learned in the classroom.
"The kids have worked hard," he said. "This renews their commitment to stay drug and alcohol free over the summer, and get them ready for middle school."