A record number of youth are signed up to attend the 12th Annual Camp UNITE this week in Williamsburg.
About 275 youth from 28 counties in southern and eastern Kentucky are attending the camp, which started Tuesday afternoon and is being held at the University of the Cumberlands in Williamsburg.
Camp UNITE is a residential drug awareness leadership/adventure program for young people, who completed sixth, seventh or eighth grades last school year.
The theme for Camp UNITE 2018 is “UNITE Strong: A Voice of Hope.”
The theme reflects the ability of campers, team leaders and adult volunteers to be an example for others in making positive, healthy choices – both during camp and once they return to their home and school environments.
Throughout the week, camp staff and volunteers convey this message through fun, interactive activities that expose participants to new options and opportunities. Time is also set aside for introspective discussions and special presentations about the consequences of poor decision-making and ways to avoid making wrong choices.
The camp is no small undertaking with 76 youth volunteers serving as small group team leaders, 95 community volunteers and 20 UNITE staff members and youth summer interns.
Activities will run the gambit from fun stuff like outrageous messy field games Thursday afternoon to talks from prison inmates from the U.S. Penitentiary in McCreary County about the circumstances that got them involved with drugs and the harsh realities of prison life.
Camp will conclude Friday with inspirational speaker Amy Compston, who began using drugs at age 14 and survived two overdoses.
Now in recovery, she is a marathon runner and co-founder of Amy for Africa, a faith-based Christian ministry.
For more information about Camp UNITE or other Operation UNITE initiatives, please visit their website at www.operationunite.org.