By JANAE HUBBLE
As crime becomes more serious in Utah County, Sheriff’s Deputy Nolan Smith is doing his part to prevent crime. Smith teaches the Laws of the Land station six days a week at a Cub Scout camp in Hobble Creek Canyon.
Camp Jeremiah Johnson is a refuge where Cub Scouts and leaders are able to learn valuable lessons while having a good time. Camp Director Larry Bethers thinks the camp provides valuable experiences for the Scouts.
“The overall purpose of Camp Jeremiah Johnson is to provide the capstone experience for the boys. They get to see Cub Scouting at its best,” Bethers said.
Scouts have come from all over Utah to participate for the past 17 years. Throughout the day Cub Scouts rotate through nine different stations where they learn sportsmanship, crafts, science, fitness and other useful traits.
Smith said he teaches approximately 10,000 boys at the Laws of the Land station each year.
“Our main goal with the program is to teach the Cub Scouts how to get involved with the crime prevention process,” Smith said.
The camp gives Scouts a chance to listen to someone who knows about crime prevention. Jonna White, another camp director for Camp Jeremiah Johnson, feels this program gives the boys a unique opportunity.
“The camp allows the Cub Scouts to listen to an actual police officer and ask him any questions they might have,” White said.
Bether also feels many kids have false perceptions about police officers.
“It’s good that the boys can actually associate with officers in the law enforcement agency and see that they’re friendly because many are viewed as being mean,” Bethers said.
The focus of the station is choice. Kids are encouraged to realize their responsibility.
“The number one thing we emphasize is making the right choices. We try to show the boys that what may seem like a small choice, like cheating on a test or trying a cigarette, can have big impact on their lives,” Smith said.
Smith hopes by making the Scouts aware of problems, they will be able to help out in their neighborhoods.
“Community safety is everyone’s business. Crime prevention is everyone’s business. By getting (Cub Scouts) involved in the crime prevention process we can increase the number of people working at it,” Smith said.
After listening to Smith, Scouts are given information about the Crime Prevention Award. Bethers said the Laws of Land station gets them started on the award, though it does not complete the requirement.
“To receive this award Cub Scouts must perform a number of various crime prevention activities,” Bethers said.
According to the Crime Prevention Guidelines, the activities include settling arguments, teaching younger children how to avoid crime and getting involved in the neighborhood.
The Scouts are generally ages 7 to 10. Bethers said the young age of the Scouts is an advantage.
“If they can reach these boys now, their chances of influencing them are so much greater at this age,” Bethers said.
The Cub Scout camp runs Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The cost of the camp is $6.50 per Scout and runs through Aug. 8.