Paying dividends

Published 9:25 pm Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Beaufort County Police Activities League is making its mark in the county — and it’s not even six months old.
PAL is a partnership between four police departments in the county — Aurora, Belhaven, Chocowinity and Washington. PAL’s mission is to provide young people ages 14 through 18 who live within its jurisdiction a way to interact with the law-enforcement community through after-school sports, mentoring, tutoring, cultural development and life-skills programs.
How’s it doing in carrying out that mission?
Its first summer camp was held the week of July 16-20. Part of the camp was held at the Hildred T. Moore Aquatics and Fitness Center in Washington. Other components were held at the New Bern airport.
The camp was a collaboration between the City of Washington, the city’s Parks and Recreation Department, Washington Housing Authority, the Beaufort County Boys & Girls Club, Washington police and fire-rescue-EMS departments and the U.S. Marine Corps. Camp activities included a trip to the Marines Corps’ New River Air Station, two USMC CH-53E helicopters landing in front of camp participants in New Bern and camp participants talking with flight crews.
A four-hour mini-camp was held Aug. 22 to teach Belhaven youth in-water kayaking and boating-safety skills. The Belhaven unit of the Beaufort County Boys & Girls Club was associated with the mini-camp.
Such camps provide Beaufort County children with useful skills, knowledge and hands-on experience they might not otherwise be exposed to during their lives. Besides, they are fun, and there’s nothing wrong with children having fun.
If the Beaufort County Police Activities League has accomplished this much in such a short time, imagine what it can accomplish in the coming years.