SHERIDAN — John King, a veteran of the Sheridan Police Department, was honored last night at a reception hosted by Volunteers of America Northern Rockies.
The reception was held to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of the P.O.S.T.C.A.R.D. program, which stands for Peace Officers Striving to Create and Reinforce Dreams. King was recognized for his involvement in the program since its inception.
The program offers deserving fifth- and sixth-grade students the opportunity for a free, weeklong stay at an outdoors camp. More than 150 Sheridan area youth have attended the camp over the past decade.
“Camp P.O.S.T.C.A.R.D. is a premier leadership opportunity for fifth- and sixth-graders from around the state,” VOA Executive Vice President Heath Steel explained. “The focus of camp is on team building, it is on leadership and it is on life sports. There is a strong drug and alcohol resistance message but it is an environment in which kids are allowed to grow. It is a very hands-on leadership experience.”
While at camp, the youth are able to participate in traditional camp activities such as hiking, rock climbing, crafts and more, in addition to working with law enforcement and criminal justice professionals.
The goal of the program is to encourage the participants to avoid drug, alcohol and tobacco use as well as create positive bonds between the youth and law enforcement.
Steel said only two officers in the state, King and Spike Darnell of Uinta County, have been involved with the program since the beginning.
“John was one of the original law enforcement officers involved with the design and implementation of camp,” Steel said. “John is there for a full day of officer training then greets his kids and is with them 24 hours a day for the full week of camp. That would not be possible without the support of the city police department.”
This year’s camps were held in June at Casper Mountain and Beartooth Mountain Christian Ranch in Montana. Funding for the camp is provided by the B.F. and Rose H. Perkins Foundation, the Daniel’s Fund and the McMurray Foundation of Casper.