Camp Develops Relationships Between Law Officers and Students

Sutherlin, Va.- Pittsylvania County Deputies and middle schoolers battled the heat Monday as the first county Virginia Rules camp began.

Virginia Rules Camp is funded by the Virginia Attorney General's Office. It started in Richmond, but has expanded over the years. This is the first year it is held here in Pittsylvania County. The goal of the camp is to target possible 'at-risk' students. The deputies build relationships with them and teach them Virginia laws.

For Destiny Love, this is her first ever summer camp. Love and about other 35 other middle schoolers are at Camp Selah for the rest of the week.

"Most people, they see a deputy, they say, 'Oh, he's a bad person.' The purpose of this camp is to kind of get the kids interacting with the cops to make them see that they are there to help you," said assistant Christina Silverman.

Ashley Wallace and Christina Silverman are high school students, chosen to serve as role models at the camp. While the camp teaches the kids about basic laws, teen violence, and drug and alcohol use, there's no shortage of fun and games. Even Attorney General Mark Herring got in on the action. But in this heat, taking breaks is a must.

"We're drinking water and keeping hydrated and stuff," said one camper.

"It's a mixture. We're going to be going indoors a bit, outdoors a little bit. Do some water sports through the week," said Deputy Harris Silverman.

Even though it was the first day, these students aren't letting the heat stop them from learning. The hope is by the end of camp, their relationships with officers will improve.

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