BEDFORD COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — Camp Cadet is celebrating its 29 years in Bedford County. The camp, hosted by local law enforcement each year, works to build positive relationships between kids from the area and police all while boosting their self-confidence.
“It’s good to know they’re supporting you, no matter what, and they won’t let you down or quit,” first time camper Hannah Fischer said.
Fischer ran through the camp’s obstacle course for the first time on Tuesday, facing her fear of heights on many of the stations.
“(I was) nervous that I was gonna fall and hurt myself, but good after I got down and didn’t,” she said.
The organizers of the camp said their goal is to help kids go from “I can’t” to “I can.”
“As time goes on, you can see that the kids are starting to grow as far as their self-confidence and their team work and their team bonding,” Trooper Christopher Fox of the Pennsylvania State Police said.
Even just two days into camp, Fischer said she sees a difference in herself already.
“I wanted to come to camp cadet to make myself a better person.”
One of the senior cadets, Cooper Lingenfelter, attended Camp Cadet when he was younger. Now, he helps the campers push past their doubts, and believe in themselves.
“They think it’s hard like i did, but it’s really not so i try to help them through that, let them know that it’s all not as hard as what they’re really thinking, just walk them through it and get them through it.
Since attending the camp, Lingenfelter said his life has changed drastically. He’s now considering following in his older brother’s step and going into the National Guard.
“The energy that I had from Camp Cadet, after Camp Cadet from the PT just was miraculous. I liked it, so I just continued to work out, and I lost a lot of weight, and now I just have a lot of energy from it, and I want to keep it going,” he said.
Since Camp Cadet is a nonprofit, and kids don’t pay to go to camp here, they rely a lot on fundraisers. Their next one will be in September at Iron Master’s Golf Course.