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Tantramar youth gain leadership, teamwork skills at Cops N Kids camp

Over 50 youths from the Tantramar area attended the Cops N Kids Leadership Weekend at the Tim Hortons Camp in Tatamagouche, N.S., on Oct. 26-29. Above, camp participants from Tantramar area schools tackle the climbing wall as part of a team-building exercise. PHOTO SUBMITTED
Over 50 youths from the Tantramar area attended the Cops N Kids Leadership Weekend at the Tim Hortons Camp in Tatamagouche, N.S., Oct. 26-29. Above, participants from Tantramar schools tackle the climbing wall as part of team-building exercises.

Cops N Kids Leadership Weekend aimed to increase self-confidence, self-esteem

SACKVILLE, N.B. – More than 50 youths from the Tantramar area had an opportunity to develop some important life and leadership skills during a recent fun-filled weekend in Tatamagouche, N.S.

The kids, from Grades 7 to 9, took part in an action-packed four days of outdoor fun, team building and leadership activities as part of the Cops N Kids Leadership Weekend at the Tim Hortons Camp on Oct. 26-29.

“It was full of activity throughout the weekend,” said Jean-Francois LeBlanc, community program officer for the town of Sackville who organized the trip for the local students. “It was so much fun.”

Throughout the weekend, participants engaged in activities designed to increase self-confidence and self-esteem while also teaching important leadership skills. From group discussions to challenging activities like rock climbing and archery, the students were kept busy and engaged throughout the four-day experience.

LeBlanc said the weekend also featured presentations and classes on the dangers of drugs, sexual health and more, while the kids also had the chance to do some improv and skits, put on a talent show and relax by the bonfire.

The Leadership Weekend, an annual event that has been taking place for the past six years, is hosted by the Cumberland County RCMP and was, up until last year, limited to Cumberland Country students. LeBlanc said he approached Const. Travis Dowe, who he had met through the newly-established Cumberland-Tantramar MADD chapter, last year about including Sackville youths in the camp and he was given approval to bring six students in 2016. This year, he was approved for more – and brought 20 from Marshview Middle (Grades 7/8), 20 from Tantramar Regional High School (Grade 9), and 12 from Port Elgin and Dorchester schools. Two Grade 12 students from TRHS were also selected to serve as role models/junior leaders for the younger participants.

In all, 94 kids from Tantramar and Cumberland County took part in this year’s camp and LeBlanc said he excited about the benefits of this program.

“We want good leaders for the future,” he said.

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