Action-packed camp inspires student leadership

OSHAWA, ON, July 15, 2015 /CNW/ - Putting out fires, applying first aid and helping classmates get to and from school safely are just a few of the valuable skills the student volunteers will learn at this week's CAA School Safety Patrol Leadership Camp.

Every summer for the past 46 years, elementary school students have been trained to become patrol captains at the camp which is part of the CAA School Safety Patrol (SSP) program.

This year's camp will train about 150 patrol captains at Camp Samac in Oshawa from July 14 to 17. The 11- to 13-year-old patrollers travel to the camp from many communities throughout Ontario to learn life-saving skills that they will use to help their classmates cross the road and ride the bus safely during the school year. Patrollers will also experience hands-on training about how to apply first aid and prevent fires.

These skills have proven invaluable for previous patrol captains like Elizabeth Blenkarn, a patroller turned camp counsellor who administered first aid to a kindergarten student who sustained a head injury that later required stitches. Since this incident happened in 2007, she continues to pass on her passion, knowledge and experience to other students who want to make a difference.

"Each summer we look forward to welcoming a new group of patrollers to the camp, and we've had a great turnout this year," said Leslie Rocha, Community Relations Specialist, CAA South Central Ontario. "It's always rewarding to see the patrollers get excited about the activities and have fun all while developing their leadership skills."

The camp is supported by many community safety partners who help train the patrollers, and this year's camp is made possible by the support of the following organizations:
St. John Ambulance, Oshawa Fire Services, Barrie Police Service, Brantford Police Service, London Police Service, Orillia O.P.P., Peel Regional Police, Windsor Police Service, Kingsville O.P.P. and the Toronto Police Service.

Facts about the SSP program:

  • More than 20,000 elementary school students participate in the program
  • Patrollers dedicate more than 3.45 million hours to volunteering for the program
  • Approximately 800 schools are involved in Ontario
  • About 55 police services in Ontario support the program
  • The program has been training students for more than 80 years

As a leader and advocate for road safety and mobility, CAA South Central Ontario is a not-for-profit auto club which represents the interests of 2 million members. For over a century, CAA has collaborated with communities, police services and governments to help keep drivers and their families safe while travelling on our roads.

SOURCE CAA South Central Ontario

For further information: Silvana Aceto, Media and PR Consultant, CAA SCO, sace@caasco.ca, Office: (905) 771-3194, Cell: (416) 209-4930 or Jeff LeMoine, Communications Consultant, CAA SCO jlem@caasco.ca, Office: (905) 771-4709, Cell: (416) 254-0641.

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