Ottawa Police cancels DARE Camp for second straight year

Greg Mast
The Ottawa Herald

For many Ottawa incoming sixth-grade students, the DARE Camp is a highlight of the summer.

The camp provides fun and learning. The pandemic has put a hold on the camp again.

For the second time in 35 years, the Ottawa Police Department will not host DARE Camp. 

This decision was not made lightly, and our staff wishes the camp could go on, Ottawa Police Chief Adam Weingartner said.

“The decision to not hold camp was primarily due to not enough volunteer medical staff available and a growing number of cancellations to attend camp,” Weingartner said. “The department developed a strong COVID-19 mitigation plan and believes that plan would have allowed camp to continue as safe as possible.”

Many campers require prescribed medication throughout the camp and the department has always had multiple registered nurses on-duty every hour camp is in session, the chief said. 

“This year, those volunteers were not available in the same number needed to keep campers safe,” Weingartner said. “DARE Camp is as important to our staff as it is to the students who completed the DARE curriculum. Last year, it was tough to deliver this news, this year it is even more disappointing. I am sorry we cannot hold camp and we look forward to making the next DARE Camp the best yet.”