The 3rd Annual Royal Bahamas Police Force (RBPF) Youth Summer Camp’s Abaco Division Closing Ceremony was held at Friendship Tabernacle on Aug. 4, 2017. The ceremony’s theme was: “Empowering Leaders for Tomorrow.”
Throughout the six weeks of camp, the campers were exposed to many principles that would guide them throughout their lives. The camp itself had a theme of: “Positive Minds, Positive Directions.” The campers were also provided with food and drinks daily thanks to generous corporate sponsors and those involved with the organization of the camp. They also engaged in various activities and crafts and sports.
However, discipline was also a main focus of the learning process, and the campers soon learned that even if one camper was disrespectful or caused trouble that it led to all of them doing repetitive planks or push ups, which were a painful reminder to stay on the right course.
The closing ceremony began with the opening prayer, which was actually the Camp Prayer, followed by the National Anthem and Pledge. Berneisha Davis delivered the welcome address before the Scripture Reading by Keannah Russell.
Led by South/ Central Abaco campers, the Preamble of the Constitution of The Bahamas was recited effortlessly before the audience. Tenisha Gelin was called forward to reflect on her camp experience before remarks were made by Chief Supt. Kevin Mortimer.
Gelin began with a motivational check to hype the campers before commending Sgt. Mullings and everyone involved in the camp’s success. Her challenge to the campers was to act upon what they had been taught.
Meanwhile, Supt. Mortimer questioned the campers on their experience during camp covering the tasty food they consumed, the guest speakers who visited with them, and the places they may have visited. He was hopeful that what they had learned would mould them into productive citizens and mannerly children wherever they go. He finished his remarks by thanking the parents and inviting the children to return next year’s camp.
Before taking his seat, however, Supt. Mortimer asked the campers to join him in a melodious round of singing, “I Am a Promise.” An outstanding song selection was given by Perez Curry, who also encouraged his fellow campers to believe in themselves despite the adversity they may face.
Senetria Duncombe, one of the campers, was given the honour of introducing the guest speaker – Bishop Anthony Campbell of the Dundas Town Church of God. His presentation to the campers began with a Bible verse from Philippians 1:6: Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.
Bishop Campbell told the campers that often times God completes the work before He begins it. Using an example, he asked the children if they had ever seen a building design at a construction site that shows what the building would look like once it was completed. This is the same way God does things, he said.
He went on to share with the campers that when he was growing up he was taught to respect older people as well as his teachers because they already had what he needed to know. Changing tactics yet again, he asked the children to loudly say, “Kill that dog.” As he explained, no one should ever call them dog even when used to greet close friends by saying, “Hey dog.”
Taking it a step further, Bishop Campbell told them that the dog represented all the bad things or trouble they could get into like lying, stealing, disrespectfulness, laziness, illicit sex – so each time he would mention one of these bad things – he would ask the children to boldly declare: “Kill that dog.”
His final analogy was that of a ball used in popular sports like football or basketball. The ball represented their lives, so as long as they controlled the ball, their opponent could not score. However, if the opponent got ahold of the ball, it could lead to trouble for them.
“Hold the ball of your life and don’t let the enemy score,” Bishop Campbell emphasized. “Say – God created me; I was wonderfully made, and I am complete in God.”
Sgt. Mullings called on all campers to stand in the audience and say the camp charge, which speaks to them being successful in life as responsible citizens and building strong characters as leaders of our country.
Inspector Mario Murphy wrapped up the ceremony with the vote of thanks. He also acknowledged that ceremonies like the one held on Abaco were taking place all over The Bahamas all the way to the island of Mayaguana, his hometown. On behalf of the Commissioner of Police Ellison Greenslade, and all officers of the Royal Bahamas Police Force, Inspector Murphy thanked all of the corporate sponsors, camp coordinators, volunteers, guest speakers and parents.
Bishop Campbell closed out the ceremony in prayer by praying for the protection and guidance of all of the campers as they embark upon the 2017-2018 school year.
Camp coordinators for South/Central Abaco were Sgt. 2098 Huqlin Mullings and Corporal 3498 Malcolm Dean. For North Abaco, the coordinators were Sgt. 3000 Dejano Forbes and Woman Corporal (W/Cpl.) Pauline Cox.
There were more than 60 campers who benefitted from the Annual Royal Bahamas Police Force Youth Summer Camp this summer.