Hanson: Scenes from Plymouth County DARE Camp

The Plymouth County DARE camp is taking place at Whitman-Hanson High School this week, with education taking place in a fun setting.

The DARE (Drug & Alcohol Resistance Education) camp is a free summer program for kids in Plymouth County. It’s the 16th year that District Attorney Tim Cruz and his office have hosted the camp.

Barbara Faherty, the Executive Director of Community Programs at the DA’s Office, says the lessons range in all types.

“All the officers are here in T-shirts and shorts, so it kind of takes away that formality from the kids, and the kids aren’t afraid to approach the DARE Officer, the police officer,” said Faherty. “They see them in a different light, that they’re part of the community. They’re not just there upholding the law…and they’re not somebody these children should be afraid of.”

From tug of war, to dodgeball, to football games hundreds of kids are taking part in the camp.

“It’s awesome. I love being here,” said 10-year-old Samantha Baptiste of Wareham. “I just think this camp is amazing, I think everyone should come.”

“It’s great. There’s so many activities,” said Dylan Perault, an 11-year-old from Whitman. “There’s a lot of friends here, old friends that you see.”

Kids are split up into groups, but away from their towns. They’re shy early in the week, but make new friends as the camp comes to a close.

“It’s good to get to know the kids,” said Timothy Cleary, the Marshfield School Resource Officer. “They get to know us outside of the uniform, and they get to know us on a personal level.”  

On Tuesday, the kids got to check out a National Guard Blackhawk helicopter flown in from Otis Air Base on the Cape.

Chief Warrant Officer 3 Daniel MacSwain and Chief Warrant Officer 2 Patricia Lopresti answered questions and let the kids tour the aircraft.

Many of the students were all smiles as they got to learn outside of a classroom.

“I wanted to learn, experience new stuff, and meet new people,” said Raeghan Blake, a 10-year-old from Wareham. “It’s awesome, I love it here, and it’s great.”  

Hanson Police Officer Bill Frazier says the is great for everyone involved.

“We want to teach the kids that police are approachable. We’re here to help you, we’re here to help you make good decisions,” said Frazier. “We want to be positive role models for these kids as well.”

Kids flocked to the helicopter after it landed at the Whitman-Hanson High School. Photo credit: Lenny Rowe.

Kids flocked to the helicopter after it landed at the Whitman-Hanson High School. Photo credit: Lenny Rowe.

It was a tough pull in the semi-finals of the tug of war championship. Photo credit: Lenny Rowe.

It was a tough pull in the semi-finals of the tug of war championship. Photo credit: Lenny Rowe.

The other side from the tug of war semi-finals. Photo credit: Lenny Rowe.

The other side from the tug of war semi-finals. Photo credit: Lenny Rowe.

10-year-old Lincoln Smith of Plymouth evaded a tackle for this touchdown. Photo credit: Lenny Rowe.

10-year-old Lincoln Smith of Plymouth evaded a tackle for this touchdown. Photo credit: Lenny Rowe.

This group was off to the races on the track. Photo credit: Lenny Rowe.

This group was off to the races on the track. Photo credit: Lenny Rowe.

Chief Warrant Officer 2 Patricia Lopresti answered questions about her job as a pilot. Photo credit: Lenny Rowe.

Chief Warrant Officer 2 Patricia Lopresti answered questions about her job as a pilot. Photo credit: Lenny Rowe.

Brady Waldron, 10, of West Bridgewater in the front seat of the Blackhawk helicopter. Photo credit: Lenny Rowe.

Brady Waldron, 10, of West Bridgewater in the front seat of the Blackhawk helicopter. Photo credit: Lenny Rowe.

Chief Warrant Officer 3 Daniel MacSwain and Chief Warrant Officer 2 Patricia Lopresti. Photo credit: Lenny Rowe.

Chief Warrant Officer 3 Daniel MacSwain and Chief Warrant Officer 2 Patricia Lopresti. Photo credit: Lenny Rowe.

Ethan Mcaloney, a 10-year-old from Hanson, smiles for the camera. Photo credit: Lenny Rowe.

Ethan Mcaloney, a 10-year-old from Hanson, smiles for the camera. Photo credit: Lenny Rowe.

Hundreds of kids from Plymouth County are attending the DARE camp. Photo credit: Lenny Rowe.

Hundreds of kids from Plymouth County are attending the DARE camp. Photo credit: Lenny Rowe.

About Lenny Rowe

Lenny Rowe is one of the newest additions to the WATD News team. Lenny has won two Edward R. Murrow awards for breaking news coverage, and a Mass. Broadcasters Award in the sports feature category. He grew up in Pembroke and was an intern at WATD in 2012. A 2016 graduate from Suffolk University, Lenny now lives in Rockland. Outside of WATD, Lenny covers high school sports for The Boston Globe. Lenny can be reached at Lenny.Rowe30@Gmail.com.