NEAR WAUBAY, S.D. (KELO) — It’s camp week for a group of middle school-aged kids in the Sioux Falls area.
12-year-old Nathen Simpson is living the camp life in northeastern South Dakota.
He’s one of nearly 40 kids attending Camp POSTCARD, which is being held at NeSoDak Bible Camp near Waubay.
While there’s a lot to enjoy about the week, it’s easy for Simpson to pick his favorite part.
“The food. They make really, really good food,” Camper Nathen Simpson said.
Kids attending the camp were picked by their school resource officers.
The camp counselors are law enforcement officers from the Sioux Falls Police Department and the Minnehaha County Sheriff’s Office.
“We believe as law enforcement officers we always have to find alternative ways to engage our community, to have that community policing going on. The cold, hard reality is the youth of our community is going to be the future of our community,” Sioux Falls Police Department Lt. Andrew Siebenborn said.
Some campers are seeing those who wear the badge in a different light.
“I always thought police officers were like mean, wicked, not cool, but to me, ever since I’ve been here they’ve all been nice to me,” Camper Levi Johnson said.
“I think that’s really cool because I never realized it would be really, really fun to hang out with a bunch of cops,” Simpson said.
“It fills your heart. That’s the whole part, not necessarily hanging out with cops, but just hanging out with adults who are willing to invest with them,” Siebenborn said.
Camp POSTCARD comes to an end Friday, but campers will take the skills they’ve learned and the memories home with them.
“It’s been really fun here,” Simpson said.
Camp POSTCARD is organized by Volunteers of America, Dakotas in partnership with the Sioux Falls Police Department and Minnehaha County Sheriff’s Office.