FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Fort Myers Police Department launched the first day of its "Respect for Law" camp on Thursday.
Agencies such as S.W.A.T, Lee County EMS, and the Crime Scene Unit were there with displays to show to the kids. The four-day sleepover camp at Dunbar Middle School was designed to teach kids about local law enforcement.
"Well they learn team building, team work, how to work together, and respect," said Camp Coordinator and Fort Myers Officer Athena Mitchell.
On the first day, the kids are divided up into platoons by color. Drew Wallace, with the orange platoon, was all smiles and questions as he climbed into the ambulance. However, S.W.A.T was the activity he was looking forward to the most.
“They are the ones who respond to the calls that are the most dangerous so I feel like they are the ones who should get the most credit for what they do," said Drew.
David Dhullokie, with the green platoon, barely broke a sweat as he raced through one of the courses. He came into the camp knowing he wants a future in law enforcement.
“I want to be an officer, and because it’s fun,” said David.
David and Drew said this was their first year at the camp, and it was Evan Saboe's first year as a camp leader. He said educating the kids about his job has been his favorite part.
"I think teaching the kids about what we do as law enforcement, getting them excited and maybe raising the next generation of law enforcement," said Saboe with Fort Myers S.W.A.T.
The camp may look like all fun and games at first glance, but Officer Mitchell said every challenge-- including the donut challenge-- has an educational purpose.
“We're already bringing in the decision making process, working on the team work, and they’re having a great time doing it.”
The annual camp has made an impact on a number of kids throughout the years, and some of them have even returned as volunteers.
“You learn a lot of respect," said Aubrynn Smith. "That’s something I learned right away and it’s something you kind of take with you in the long run.”
You can learn more about the camp by clicking here.