BIRMINGHAM, Alabama – Escaping an active shooter, self-defense and other survival skills will be taught at a new summer camp for kids offered by the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office.

That is a long way from the usual summer camp traditions of swimming in the lake and making macramé bracelets. But Sheriff Mike Hale says the camp will teach young people to be prepared for whatever life throws at them. “Our greatest allies in public safety are people who know what to do in an emergency,” Hale said in a press release today.

The name of the camp is Prepared, Not Scared. Two sessions, one week each, will be offered to students entering the 5th through 7th grades. The first session will run August 5-9, and the second August 12-16 at Ruffner Mountain Nature Center.

The campers will be taught by instructors from Fresh Air Family and Hoover Tactical Firearms. The program is based on the National Rifle Association’s “Refuse to Be a Victim” program. Some of the topics include what to do if they find a gun or encounter an active shooter. They will also learn non-aggressive ways to try to escape an attacker or be aware of potential hazards.

Fresh Air Family instructors will also teach survival skills should they get lost. That will include how to orient directions, build a shelter, make a fire and discern which plants are edible and which are poisonous.

“Everyone,” said Whit Wright of Hoover Tactical Firearms, “should have personal safety skills in today’s world.”

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