Last summer, Christina Sally, an investigator with the Summit County Attorney's Office, was finishing teaching a class to about 30 kindergarten-aged children at the Summit County Children's Justice Center. Her lesson was about anti-bullying, and to get her message across, she used animated pictures of frogs with varying facial expressions.
Sally asked the class what they learned. One student dutifully answered correctly that bullying was bad. A second student learned a different lesson, he said. He learned that frogs have feelings, too.
Frogs and feelings weren't necessarily part of the intended outcome of the first-ever Camp Safety sponsored by the county attorney's office and the United Against Bullying Coalition last August, but lessons about anti-bullying and other ways to stay safe were. In response to last year's success, both organizations are planning another week-long Camp Safety, intended for Summit County kids entering kindergarten or first grade in the fall.
"Technology and the advancement of the Internet have made kids grow up faster," said Summit County Attorney David Brickey. "Things have changed. Last year was a test case. We had a big turnout and a fun week."
The program and curriculum was developed by Sally, who will once again lead this year's Safety Camp. She sensed the need for more reinforcement that law enforcement are to be trusted and not feared. So she decided that a camp providing safety information and tools, using volunteers from agencies such as the Summit County Sheriff's Department, the Peace House, and the Park City Police Department, would be a good way to get kids ready for school and the challenges that come hand-in-hand with growing older.
"They still look at law enforcement [officers] as heroes," Sally said.
During the camp, children will learn about bike safety, stranger-danger, fire safety, anti-bullying, and "keeping your private parts private," according to a pamphlet.
Camp Safety is limited to 24 children entering kindergarten or first grade, and acceptance is on a first-come, first-served basis. The camp will be held at the Summit County Children's Justice Center (adjacent to the Summit County Library at Kimball Junction) from Monday, Aug. 11 through Friday, Aug. 15, from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. each day. The cost is $75, with proceeds benefiting the Summit County Children's Justice Center and the United Against Bullying Coalition.
To register, call Sally at 435-615-3829 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org . Registration can also be done online at https://forms.summitcounty.org/campsafety.php . The deadline for registering is Thursday, Aug. 7.