Boot camp weekend

RCMP and Lower Similkameen Indian Band work to build more positive relationships with each other through “boot camp” weekend for youth

Lower Similkameen Indian Band youth receive equestrian instruction during a weekend of activities with RCMP members.

Lower Similkameen Indian Band youth receive equestrian instruction during a weekend of activities with RCMP members.


The RCMP and the Lower Similkameen Indian Band teamed up on the weekend to provide LSIB youth with a fun and informative weekend at the Pow Wow Campgrounds.

Approximately 40 kids participated in the three day event, which included a camp out on Friday and Saturday nights.

Part of the initiative was about relationship building between police and native youth. Susan Harper, First Nations Policing constable of the RCMP, for Oliver and Keremeos, put the “RCMP Boot Camp” together in conjunction with the LSIB.

The weekend itinerary held a number of different facets for the youth; activities involving fitness, education on substance abuse, sex and bullying, concluding on Sunday morning with an awards presentation.

“The kids liked the physical fitness test,” commented Keremeos RCMP Constable Pam Schiedl, who assisted Constable Harper with the event. An obstacle course had been set up in the Pow Wow campground, and participants tested their fitness levels on Saturday morning.

The youth were also given a demonstration of the RCMP’s rollover simulator, a device designed to demonstrate the perils of riding in a vehicle without a seatbelt fastened. The demonstration consists of a vehicle chassis containing dummys that are initially rolled several times unbelted, then rolled several times while belted in.

“Generally, the dummys fly out of the vehicle within two or three rolls,” Schiedl said, “none of them come out of the vehicle when they are belted in.”

RCMP also gave the children “beer glasses,” lenses designed to cause vertigo and simulate the visual experience of someone who is impaired.

Saturday’s activities also included workshops on bicycle repair, discussions on bullying, rape and assault, equestrian lessons and paintball games.  A police dog demonstration completed the day’s activities.

“Last year we put together a movie night as part of a youth get together,” said former LSIB Chief Joe Dennis, who also assisted in the weekend event.

“Constable Harper came up with this idea earlier this year, and once the funding was found, got together with us to organize it.


It’s been a great way for youth in our community to get to know the RCMP in a relaxed and informal setting.”