One-week leadership camp ends with graduation ceremony

The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office and the School District of Oconee County recently concluded their 5th annual Leadership Camp with a graduation ceremony June 7 at the Law Enforcement Center in Walhalla. Thirty-three students from the 5th thru the 11th grade participated in the camp which began on Monday, June 3. The age group for the students, all male, was from age 10 to age 16. Deputies, including the School Resource Officers, and School District officials, participated in the camp. On Monday, June 3, the students spent time at Walhalla High School where the school’s ROTC program used the morning working with the students on activities that emphasized team building skills and problem solving. The students were selected for the camp by the School Resource Officers, guidance counselors and administrators. Sheriff Mike Crenshaw congratulated each graduate during the graduation ceremonies and shared with the students that the week was about having fun, them becoming a part of the law enforcement family, and getting to know the resource officers as their friend. “I have seen a positive impact on the students that attend our camp as well as benefiting our deputies that help each year,” says Oconee County Sheriff Mike Crenshaw. “Law enforcement generally encounters the public when something bad has happened. This camp reminds them of the main reason they entered this profession which is to help others.” Among the activities the students participated in were fishing, zip lining, bowling and swimming as well as a visit to Death Valley where the students touched Howard’s Rock and ran down the Hill on the east side of Memorial Stadium. The students were taken on a tour of the Oconee County Rock Quarry and got to see some of the equipment that is used there. Friday the students visited the Currahee Military Museum and talked about the importance of paratroopers and their role in D day. Besides the leadership and team building skills that were taught during the camp, the School Resource Officers also had opportunities to work with the students in small groups to build a rapport with the students to talk about life issues. The five-day camp was funded this year by donations from various civic organizations, private citizens, and a grant from Clemson Head Football Coach Dabo Swinney’s All In Foundation.