A challenge course at the Madden Outdoor Education Center run by Putnam/Northern Westchester BOCES was a pivotal part of the Peekskill Police Youth Academy summer camp.
Eight campers, ages 12 to 15, work with Peekskill police officers on simulated car stops, DWI checks, building searches and crime scene investigations. They also take part in a Challenge Course that features a series of physical challenges, such as climbing an eight-foot wall, getting over a wooden wheel suspended between two trees or balancing a group of people on a seesaw.
The course is designed to help the cadets bond as a group and learn to solve problems through communication, collaboration and cooperation.
“Policing is all about teamwork. You can’t be a lone police officer,” said Lt. Cathy Johansen, who has been running the youth academy for 10 years. “When we started this program, I knew that I needed a way to teach that kind of teamwork and collaboration to the cadets. The Challenge Course at Madden is perfect for our purposes. We’ve been bringing them to Madden for a few years now with great results.”
According to Johansen, the academy, which holds two sessions each summer, was started to give youths an opportunity to bond with police officers and get to know them in a positive setting. The program is funded by Entergy, Wheelabrator of Westchester, Domino’s Pizza of Cortlandt and Piazza Roma of Mohegan Lake.
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