Ramsey area kids going into third and fourth grade learned some valuable life skills at last week’s Ramsey Safety Camp.
Lord of Life Lutheran Church hosted 140 kids June 25-26 who learned about how to maintain privacy on the Internet, how to prevent fires and escape their home if there is a fire, bike helmet safety, how not to upset animals, what hazards to avoid around the home and water safety.
Another important message that was reinforced in two separate seminars was how bullying, whether spoken directly or through a computer, can be damaging to both the victim and the bully in the long run.
“It’s a great age for them to learn because a lot of things for them are new at safety camp,” said Chandra Kreyer, Ramsey Police Department crime prevention specialist. “We find fun ways to give information to them.”
In one class on animal safety, Martha Herbert of Creature Encounters had one girl in her second year at the safety camp demonstrate how to curl up if an angry dog is nearby and how to act around raccoons and snakes.
Karina Berzin of the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension repeated a phrase, “use your net smarts” when telling them how to be careful about what information they put online.
Berzin said kids this age legally cannot be on social networking sites like Facebook. They must be at least 13 years old, but she knows some will go online especially when they have more free time in the summer.
Julie Janus and Jessica Hassler from CLIMB Theater portrayed different bully and victim encounters. They encouraged those being bullied to stick up for themselves with words to take the power away from the bully and to tell an adult what is happening. Other kids should also step in to defend the person being bullied.
The camp was not all about sitting in front of presenters. There were plenty of chances to play kickball, tug of war, dance, and see police cars and fire trucks. They also got to watch a bike stunt show and a magician.
Eric Hagen is at firstname.lastname@example.org