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Kids listen to a K-9 unit presentation at the SLO County Sheriff’s Youth Summer Camp in Arroyo Grande on June 14, 2024. (Dave Alley/KEYT)

ARROYO GRANDE, Calif. – The San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office is wrapping up the first of three week-long summer camps for kids the department holds each summer.

Taking place this week at Mesa Middle School in rural Arroyo Grande, the free San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Youth Summer Camp is being held for children that are incoming into grades 5th through 7th.

“It’s a transitional time, and we want to come in and be a positive influence and help equip our kids to be good communicators, to be good friends, to make smart choices,” said Grace Norris, San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office Crime Prevention Specialist. We come out as the Sheriff’s Office and we provide this camp free of charge, and we provide a lot of fun activities, but we also try and instill some really good values into this group of kids.”

Over the course of the week, nearly 100 kids have taken part in a variety of fun and games, plus have also learned valuable life lessons.

According to the Sheriff’s Office, the camp is built around school-based, law enforcement officer-instructed classroom curriculum, and is designed to prevent delinquency, youth violence, and gang membership for children.

Topics covered during the week includes, preventing bullying, respecting others, making good life choices, conflict resolution, anger recognition and management. 

The free camp is an outreach program that is celebrating its 11th year and is intended for kids that live within the Sheriff’s Office jurisdiction in the South County.

The Sheriff’s Office will hold two additional camps this month, including its North County next week at Lillian Larsen Elementary School in San Miguel, as well as its Coast Camp at Cayucos Elementary School in Cayucos the following week.

Registration remains open at both upcoming camps, which have a capacity for 120 kids.

“The Sheriff’s Office, we are part of this community,” said Norris. “We care about this community, and this is just another way that we are reaching out to help with a crucial need. In our county, summer camps are hard to find and they’re really expensive, so we have taken on the cost, and this is something that we’ve invested in because we care about the kids in this community.”

For more information about the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Youth Summer Camp, click here.

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