Hampton students recognized for completion of Camp Cadet

Thursday, September 19, 2019 | 1:23 PM

Three students from Hampton Middle school who completed the Allegheny County Camp Cadet 2019 program received a special proclamation by Hampton Township Council at the Sept. 18 meeting.

Gregory Gropelli, 14, Addie Hastings, 13, and Charlotte Lomb, 13, all of Hampton Township and eighth-graders at Hampton middle school, were recognized for successfully completing the Allegheny County Camp Cadet last summer.

Students ages 12 to 14 are invited to apply for the annual summer camp in the local area. Last year’s camp was in Sharpsburg, at Camp Guyasuta.

Hampton Township Officer Chris Finnigan, who is a fourth-year camp counselor there, said the camp is ideal for those with aspirations to work in law enforcement, or those who “just want to be a good leader in their community.”

The tuition-free, nonprofit camp is a week-long event teaching youth a “better understanding of law enforcement and other community agencies” for those living in Allegheny County, according to the Allegheny County Camp Cadet website.

The camp includes education of various law departments, a mock crime scene investigation and mock criminal trial, as well as physical training. Lomb admitted it was challenging at first, but by the end she appreciated knowing she could accomplish the hard work.

Hastings had similar feelings.

“I like how I pushed myself and learned how to cooperate with others,” said Hastings.

There’s a bike run to Pittsburgh the camp cadet organization holds as a fundraiser, which Gropelli said was one of his favorite activities in which he took part.

He also said he benefited from the challenge of the camp activities and pushing himself to accomplish them.

Statewide the program, started by the state police, has been running for more than 40 years. It came to Allegheny County in 2004, according to the Allegheny Camp Cadet website. It is run by local and state police and funded through charitable contributions and fundraising efforts.

The 13th annual Cruise for Cadets is already scheduled for June 6, 2020, according to the program Representative Greg Kiss.

Finnigan, who has been with Hampton Township for 13 years, said students and parents should look to apply next spring for the next summer camp.

Those selected must meet the qualifications, including physically, and pass the interview process to be selected, said Finnigan.