The Villages Voice - July 2013

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Summer Camp News from the Florida Sheriffs Youth Ranches

by Jim Karantinos

Summer Camp News from the Florida Sheriffs Youth Ranches
The Florida Sheriffs Youth Ranches Summer Camp sessions recently kicked off the camping season.  This year Caruth Camp in Yankeetown, and Youth Camp in Barberville, will each host nine one week residential summer camp sessions for kids. Our Mobile Camps will travel around the state—taking our camping services on the road for an additional 27 weeklong sessions.
This year we have several newsworthy items to report, including the following:
•    Special lifts for the disabled have been installed at the swimming pools at Caruth and Youth Camp. The new devices are Americans with Disabilities Act compliant, allowing users to enter the pool independently without the help of a special operator.
•    The Florida Sheriffs Youth Ranches has teamed up with Florida’s Community Based Care Groups and the Department of Children and Families to provide residential camping and mobile camp opportunities to several children in foster care. Individual foster children will attend regularly scheduled residential camp sessions and several groups will attend private mobile camp sessions throughout the state.
•    This year Youth Camp will offer an outdoor living skills opportunity for their older campers. Boys and girls will separately have the opportunity to “camp out” for an evening under the stars. Campers will learn how to set up tents, gather firewood and learn how to cook using a campfire by grilling and using a dutch oven to cook dinner and breakfast. They will also learn about star constellations.
•    The archery course at Youth Camp has added two additional challenge levels by rearranging the target ranges. Archery is a very popular activity at Youth Camp. Hopefully, this year we will reintroduce the use of recurve bows to complement the compound bows used on the course.
•    Caruth Camp will once again host a special session for Operation Purple. Operation Purple is a special summer camp for children of currently deployed American servicemen and women. Children from around the country attend this camp.
•    During the first week of camp at Caruth Camp Sheriffs Deputies from Okaloosa County delivered 15 donated bicycles and Levi County Sheriff McCallum and his deputies gave an educational presentation on effects of bullying.
•    The Florida Sheriffs Youth Ranches is fortunate to be accredited by the American Camp Association and the Coalition on Accreditation. This year is our reaccreditation year. This July the American Camp Association will visit our two residential camps to reaffirm that our campuses meet industry standards.
Our program wide goal is to guide young people away from the path of future delinquency. By providing a safe place and caring environment at our Summer Camps, Florida’s children are given an opportunity to grow and learn that there is a better way to live their lives. The positive relationships that campers develop with staff, as well as Sheriffs Deputies, gives each child a firm base to make better decisions when they return home.
If you would like more information on visiting a camp session, learning how to help sponsor a child at camp, or help us with our program needs, please contact Frank Kenny, Donor Relations Officer at 1-800-765-3797 or visit us at www.youthranches.org.
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Contact:
 Jim Karantinos
Communications Manager
Florida Sheriffs Youth Ranches
Office of the President
386-842-5501
jkarantinos@youthranches.org

Captions:
DSC_0034.jpg: Boys at the Youth Camp in Barberville prepare for the Ropes Course.
DSC_0074.jpg: A Florida Sheriffs Youth Ranches counselor gives special instructions to a camper on the archery course.
IMG_7202.jpg: Florida Sheriffs Youth Ranches campers enjoy a day canoeing the crystal clear waters of a nearby spring.