Camping to Help Build Careers

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SUGARLOAF TOWNSHIP -- School may be out for the summer but about 100 kids in Luzerne County are being disciplined and kept in line for fun. The weeklong Camp Cadet is underway at the Penn State Hazleton campus.

It's not military school. None of these kids is in trouble, but they are training.

Cassidy Marzzacco may be young but she has plans to join the military when she's older.

"If there's anything I want to do in the military at all, this is a good background to start from," said Cassidy Marzzacco, of Reeders.

Camp Cadet is a Pennsylvania State Police organized camp for 12 to 14 year olds.

About 100 kids are spending the week at the Penn State Hazleton campus, training for possible careers in the military or law enforcement. Even when the kids are learning to march, the counselors don't hold back.

"You know, we harp on them, sometimes a little louder than a common voice but they seem to respond to that," said Trooper David Peters, assistant camp director.

Trooper David Peters says it's important to discipline the campers and make sure they pay attention to detail. In addition to marching, the group is also learning about K-9 units.

Later this week, they'll practice shooting and do more physical training.

""This camp is definitely more physically demanding and disciplined, but it's also much more rewarding because you have to work toward your goals instead of just have it handed to you," said Zac Crisafulli, of Stroudsburg.

The kids admit it can be grueling.

"The hardest part for me is just waking up in the morning because it's really early for me," said Crisafulli.

But as one of the few girls in the bunch, Cassidy Marzzacco says camp cadet has toughened her up.

"It makes me more competitive. I want to win. I want to be above the guys sometimes," said Marzzacco.

Most of the state police troops around Pennsylvania will host a Camp Cadet sometime this summer.