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Trooper Island Revisited

NCJ Number
Law and Order Volume: 50 Issue: 4 Dated: April 2002 Pages: 72-75
Rodney Brewer
Date Published
4 pages
This article discusses the 1966 mission, development, and implementation of the Trooper Island Camp located on an island in Kentucky for at-risk, low-income youth and run by the Kentucky State Police.
Trooper Island Camp was conceived in 1966 by the Kentucky State Police to provide a unique camping experience for youth from low-income families who might not otherwise have the opportunity to experience a camping experience. It was envisioned as a life changing adventure. The camp is staffed with volunteer off-duty State troopers. A major obstacle for the camp is funding. The program has always operated without the benefit of tax dollars. The cost of construction of the core facilities was over $150,000, with additional funds needed for transportation to and from the island, food, and recreation provisions for the campers. Over the years, a formalized curriculum was established that included courses in water safety, environmental awareness, gun safety, drug prevention, and self-esteem enhancement. In addition, the concepts of fair play, sportsmanship, and patriotism were reinforced. Today, the camp has become coed, focusing on at-risk youth between the ages of 10 and 12. The program now offers a full 12-week camping experience with partnerships formed with various organizations offering experiences for those physically handicapped. However, he only measure of success has been the nearly two dozen State troopers who attended the camp as children.