Adventures in Friendship camp closes week of learning & fun

by Geoff Fox

For the 23rd year, St. Thomas Episcopal Church and Interfaith Service Coalition held their annual weeklong Adventures in Friendship summer camp.

For the first 22 years of the camp, it was held at St. Thomas church. This year, the camp was moved to Martha’s House on Main Street.

Over the course of the week, 36 youth campers ages eight to 13 had breakfast at Martha’s House, had a volunteer come in for a demonstration or went on a field trip. They’d return to Martha’s House for lunch before going on another field trip or demonstration.

Before leaving for the day, the kids had ice cream.

Volunteers taught life skills such as bike safety, gun safety and discussed the dangers of drug abuse.

One field trip took campers to Cumberland to see the medevac helicopter, which Rev. Allen Weatherholt said has become a tradition of the camp.

While in Cumberland, Maryland State Police troopers taught the kids about seatbelt safety.

Other trips included a visit to the Washington County 911 center, Hancock Volunteer Fire Company, Hancock Rescue Squad, and Food Lion.

Weatherholt said the kids got to see the different departments of the grocery store including the bakery where they decorated cupcakes. The kids also got to run a register.

There was also time with Mayor Ralph Salvagno, Washington County Sheriff’s Deputy Scott Buskirk and Hancock Police Chief Rick Cook and K-9 Officer Benno.

Hancock Police Chief Rick Cook holds back Officer Benno before showing the kids at Adventures in Friendship how Benno searches for drugs.

During the demonstration with Benno, Cook hid a small bag of marijuana in a box and had his K-9 partner find it.

Cowboys for America also stopped by Martha’s House on Friday as they made their way to Washington D.C. for the Independence Day parade.

Among the kids’ favorite activities were the trip to the 911 center, watching the police helicopter, seeing a pig heart, seeing a snake, learning CPR and a game called Minute to Win It.

At the end of the week, campers graduated from Adventures in Friendship camp and were given a gift bag.

The camp is held every year on the last full week of June.