Camp Sunny Day Returns for Third Year

SCRANTON, Pa. -- Every summer, hundreds of kids across northeastern and central Pennsylvania head to Camp Cadet, a summer camp hosted by Pennsylvania state troopers, but for some kids, going to camp just isn't possible.

"We needed to create a camp for a lot of the physically and mentally challenged kids in the area, so we try to get all our entities together and have them come here for one day just to experience what the other camp kids are," said Tpr. Bob Urban, Pennsylvania State Police, Troop R.

And so Camp Sunny Day was born. The day camp started after Cpl. Samantha Minucci, an instructor at the State Police Academy in Hershey, came up with the idea because her brother has special needs and always wanted to go to Camp Cadet with her as a kid.

Now in its third year, the event held at Marywood University brings local dive teams, fire trucks, and more to a place where kids with disabilities can get a close-up look at lifesaving equipment.

"It's very exciting because the 'touch a truck' things, they do loud noises stuff usually, so this is completely different, it makes it safe for his noise control," said Molly Mindas, Newton Ransom.

Ten-year-old Patrick Dougher came to Camp Sunny Day last year and loved it so much, his mom brought him back this year.

"My son has special needs, and he's very interested in all the different things they have to show here today, and he loves to come back every year," said Lauren Dougher of Dunmore.

Camp Sunny Day isn't just about letting kids get up close to helicopters and fire trucks, it's also about letting them know law enforcement is their friend and there in times of need.

"They're able to try and test everything and see how everything works and not be afraid that something is going to happen to them, to understand that emergency personnel are here to help you and to not be scared of it," Dougher added.

Not only is it a fun day for the kids but also a gratifying day for those who serve in uniform.

"It feels great to be able to give back to the community, to be able to have the kids here, to give them a piece of everyday life what it's like to be in law enforcement, and to get them to experience that and enjoy that it really makes us happy," Urban said.

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