Adams County Sheriff’s Office offers summer camp

Published 12:01 am Sunday, June 3, 2018

NATCHEZ — The Adams County Sheriff’s Office will host a summer camp for youth in the Miss-Lou this month and in July.

Adams County Sheriff Travis Patten said the Keepers of the Command camp will have more than 40 courses for students, including first aid, basic safety training, early financial investment strategies, personal grooming and controlling emotions.

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“When I say this is not like other academies, I mean it,” Patten said. “We are going to plant some good seeds in these kids, and we hope they go out and spread that in the community.”

Boys and girls 13 to 18 years old are welcome at the Junior Cadet Academy, which will be 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays starting June 11 and lasting through July 20.

Swimming lessons also will be available on Friday and Saturday of each week.

During the camp, Patten said students would watch a trial, attend an Adams County Board of Supervisors meeting as well as attend seminars and events with the sheriff’s office.

“This is all about investing in our youth,” Patten said. “We want to give them structure and give them the opportunity to find what they really want to do in life.”

The idea of the summer camp, Patten said, goes back to his 2015 campaign promise to invest heavily in the well-being and growth of area youth.

“We are losing our youth, and that is happening nationwide,” he said. “We want to teach them that they can make it no matter where they come from or what they have going on.”

The summer camp is free, and anyone interested in attending the camp must pick up and return a packet to the Adams County Sheriff’s Office by Monday for consideration.

Patten said the six-week program is filling up quickly, and that anyone with questions about the camp can call the sheriff’s office at 601-442-2752 for more information.

Patten said he does not see the camp as a one-time event, and would like to see long-term programs similar to it in the future.

The students who graduate from the camp, Patten said, will have the opportunity to be a part of a long-term project wherein youth can volunteer at several of the sheriff’s office’s events in the coming years.

“We want to teach them the value of community service and then give them the opportunity to serve,” Patten said. “The only way to be a good and humble leader is to be a follower first and learn discipline. We want to teach that to these kids.”

Patten said a student at Natchez High School who recently graduated, Cameron Shropshire, designed a logo for the Keepers of the Command camp back in 2015.

“I told him then that when we got this camp set up, we would use this design,” Patten said. “He believed enough in what we were doing to make the design, and I wanted us to use it.”

The youth who graduate from the camp and become long-term members of Keepers of the Command, Patten said, will wear the symbol when they work with the sheriff’s office.

“What we hope is when these kids graduate, they are changed,” Patten said. “We want them to be leaders.”