Free camp gives kids safety tips |

Free camp gives kids safety tips

Tamara Miller
Special to the Daily Kids learned a variety of safety techniques at last summer's 911 Camp. The program this year will be held in Avon June 11 and Eagle, July 9.

School will soon be out for summer, giving kids ample time to ride their bikes, swim in the pool and venture into the outdoors.Eagle County’s emergency services employees hope to help youngsters have a safe and active summer by hosting Camp 911 – a safety training camp for children ages 9 to 11 on June 11 at Avon Elementary School.Another session of the camp will be held July 9 at Eagle Valley Middle School.”I think the most useful thing I learned was the Heimlich maneuver,” said Parker Lathrop, 12, who attended the camp last summer. Lathrop said he has never had to use it, but he knows first-hand how important the skill is. “One time my dad had to use it because I was choking,” he said.Kids will learn some basic water and fire safety skills, how to make 911 calls and perform first aid, said Cathy McRory, an Eagle County ambulance employee. Each child who attends will receive an identification card from the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office.

Susan Lathrop, Parker’s mom, said she sent her kids and her two nephews to the camp last summer, in part, to help become more self-dependent. “They were 9 and 11 at the time and they are starting to stay home by themselves,” she said. “I thought it would be a good way to start out the summer, just to get a general overview of safety principles.”A lot of what they learned was a review of things she had already taught her children, but they also picked up some new skills, too, she added.”They talked about what you are supposed to do when kidnapped,” Lathrop said. “They said don’t say ‘Help,’ say ‘Fire.’ People pay attention to that more because kids will say (help) when they are playing around.”Learning safety skills may normally be a dry subject for young children, so camp workers say they try to make it fun. Kids get to climb inside a “Safetysaurus” – which has models of human organs inside. Once inside, they learn and see how things like cigarette smoking and a head injury can affect the body.”There’s these glasses that simulated if you were drunk,” Parker Lathrop said. “And it was fun to see what it was really like to be drunk and you had to walk a line and it was hard.”While wearing the glasses the kids had to pretend to save a drowning person by throwing them a towel and bringing them to the side of the pool. Every time, the kids would mis-throw the towel, meaning the person would have drowned, Susan Lathrop said.

“All four of them kept talking about it, how hard it was to throw the towel,” she said.Staff writer Tamara Miller can be reached via e-mail at: or by calling 949-0555 ext. 607.Camp 911Who: Kids ages 9 to 11When & Where: June 11: Avon Elementary School; July 9: Eagle Valley Middle School

Time: Activities: 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. – Drop off: 8 to 8:15 a.m. – Pick up: 4:30 to 5 p.m.Cost: Free (lunch included)To pre-register your child: Call the Avon Recreation Center at 748-4060 or the Western Eagle County Recreation District at 328-6909 or 328-5277.

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