Almost every summer since 2002 (we didn’t have funding during three summers), the Norfolk County Office of the Sheriff has operated a Youth Leadership camp in Braintree for kids ages 10 to 14. The camp emphasizes good decision-making skills and working with peers to solve problems – like ascending 30-foot-high rope-climbing towers, which would make most adults cringe.
Our summer Youth Leadership camp is one small example of the many programs aimed at young adolescents when they are particularly susceptible to peer pressure and not yet equipped to say no to a bad choice. The South Shore YMCA has sent thousands of kids to summer camp on Cape Cod for generations, regardless of whether their families can afford to pay. Many of those kids have grown into successful adults who still talk about how that positive camp experience at a young age kept them on a straighter path even as they could see the other path right in front of them.