One of the best things about summer for kids is camp and there are 13 Otsego County children ages 9 through 12 attending this week’s New York State Sheriffs’ Association Institute’s Summer Camp, Camp Iroquois, in Penn Yan, NY according to the Otsego County Sheriff's Office. These are kids whose families are not able to afford to send them to camp or go on family vacations and therefore are chosen to attend Camp Iroquois for free. Chosen kids in Delaware and Chenango Counties are there as well.

It's a great camp with all kinds of activities for campers while at the same time teaching kids how to be good citizens in their communities. Over 800 boys and girls from across New York State are attending this year's camp. Below is a video from last year's camp showing off the many activities the kids get to enjoy during their time there.

If you're wondering how children are chosen to attend this camp, it comes down to each County Sheriff getting a certain number of slots for disadvantaged kids attending, coupled with different methods of identifying children who are a match for what the camp stands for. Many times, sheriffs work with social service organizations in their county to help identify children in need who would benefit from attending camp.

What sets this camp apart from other types of camps is that not only do children participate in fun outdoor activities but they interact with Sheriffs’ officers in a positive way, all the while enjoying activities and even social situations that may be very new to them according to the New York State Sheriffs' Institute & Summer Camp Facebook page. They also learn about the dangers of substance abuse, gangs and violence, view D.A.R.E. presentations, participate in boat and bike safety programs, law enforcement equipment and technical demonstrations, learn archery, and kids get to participate in a fun talent show. At the end of camp, all children are awarded a diploma for their participation in a program of “Good Citizenship and Law Enforcement Studies.". The Sheriffs' Institute says that a youth's risk of going to jail decreases while their self-respect, respect for others, and respect for law enforcement increases.

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For any parent or guardian who believes their child would benefit from such an experience at this camp, you can find out more about this annual camp at or at

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