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Kids Safety Camp returns

Community Y host to more than 100 kids

June 2, 2012
By DAVID ALEXANDER - Staff Writer ( , Times-Republican

Second, third and fourth-graders participated in fun events that also taught them safety lessons Friday at the Community Y's Kids Safety Camp.

The camp featured fire, water, railroad and farm safety presentations and interactive demonstrations like spraying a fire hose and a train simulator that allowed kids to see first-hand the ins and outs of each agency.

Dave Huntley, manager at the Union Pacific railroad in Boone, said his company's simulator is fun, but also helps kids realize how limited a conductor's vision is while he or she is steering the train. He said he hoped kids came away knowing that train tracks are dangerous.

Article Photos

A member of Skydive Iowa, of Brooklyn, lands at the Community Y in Marshalltown Friday to kick-off the Kids Safety Camp. The day-long camp is a join effort between the Marshalltown Police Department and the Community Y. Several area agencies also participated.

"If you don't get near the tracks, you can't get hurt," he said. "Trains are not to be played with. They make toy trains. That's fine for Christmas. Our trains can hurt you."

Ashlyn Watson, 10, of State Center, said her favorite activity was learning about animal safety, in particular how to notice cues from animals as to when they are upset or aggravated.

Cortney Watson, Ashlyn's mother, said it important for kids to learn about safety while having fun. Watson said her 15-year-old also went through the camp.

Haley Vajgrt, 14, also went through the camp when she was younger. She's now a volunteer who said many kids take the event as seriously as she did at their age. The camp helped her understand how to deal with certain safety situations.

Sgt. Rick Bellile of the Marshalltown Police Department, which partners with the Community Y for the event, said 108 kids registered for the camp which began in 2000. However, it had been on a two-year hiatus because of low registration.

Bellile said the activities, because they are fun and informative, help kids engage with safety.

"If we can prevent one accident, it's a good thing," he said of the camp.

Skydive Iowa members began the day by skydiving onto the scene at the Community Y and then talking about their safety equipment. An instruction on water safety at the Marshalltown Family Aquatic Center finished out the day.



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