Surround yourself with good people was the message from Senior Superintendent of Police, Calvin Small to participants in the Department of Correctional Services Probation Aftercare Services Challengers Camp 2019.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, SSP Small emphasised the importance of associating with the right people. “Be careful of the friends that you keep and people you associate yourself with; they have a lot to do with where you go in life. You cannot soar like eagles with the wings of chickens. Eagles only soar with eagles.”
SSP Small further stated that learning from past experiences only make you wiser and stronger. “You cannot love yourself if you hate the experiences that shape you. So I implore you to appreciate the great experiences and more importantly learn from the bad ones and make better decisions.”
SSP Small also encouraged the campers to make better decisions, be brave, develop self-confidence, grow, make the decision to change but most importantly, surround themselves with the right people.
The Department of Correctional Services Probation Aftercare Services’ Challengers Camp is a behaviour modification programme conceptualized to provide alternatives to incarceration for child offenders. The initiative provides an opportunity for probation Aftercare Officers to package and deliver an intervention strategy that seeks to address the specialized needs of child offenders.
An integral part of the camp is the visit to the Tower Street and St. Catherine Adult Correctional Centres where campers get a first-hand view of life behind bars. This is done in an effort to help campers make better life choices after camp.
The 10-day residential camp is for juveniles between the ages of 13 to 18 years and addresses issues of: self-esteem and self-worth; substance abuse; anger management and conflict resolution; career development and skills training; money management; human sexuality; social graces; creative arts among others.
The first Challengers Camp was held in 2003, since then the camp has impacted the lives of over 2500 young men and women referred to the camp by the courts or by schools. This year the camp has a total of 83 young men from all parishes with the exception of Manchester. With support from the Private sector, the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) and the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) the camp is now celebrating 15 years and continues to transform disenfranchised youth into productive members of our society.