A group of youth from central Vancouver Island are getting a taste of RCMP boot camp this week at Alberni District Secondary School.
Thirty-five youth from Grades 10–12, including 11 from Port Alberni, are participating. “It’s the Central Island Police Youth Camp,” RCMP media liaison Cpl. Amelia Hayden said. “(Participants) are coming from School districts 68, 69 and 70.”
The camp, which was also hosted in Port Alberni in 2014, kicked off Monday at ADSS. “It’s like a mini (RCMP) Depot,” Hayden explained.
The program puts students in an environment similar to the RCMP Training Academy in Regina (or ‘Depot’), and gives them instruction on law, police tactics, social skills, physical training, self-defense and more. They will have the opportunity this week to role play as officers in police scenarios, and work as a team. During the camp they stay together in a team environment, through learning, lodging and mealtime.
Students were given an opportunity to apply for the program several months ago; those selected had to pass a fitness test and criminal record check, have good attendance at school, be interested in law enforcement or supporting careers and be a non-smoker. Candidates underwent an interview process as well, according to the application handbook.
On Wednesday, youth camp participants will learn about the RCMP’s air division with a visit from an RCMP helicopter on the ADSS grounds, and will be down at Harbour Quay with the police boat learning about the marine division in the afternoon.
The camp wraps up Friday, July 7 with a final drill at 2 p.m. and graduation at 3 p.m.