BRAZIL, Ind. (WTHI) --The Indiana Sheriffs' Youth Ranch is providing mentoring and bonding despite the COVID-19 pandemic. The youth academy over in Brazil, Indiana starts today!
This program spent three years in the making. Due to COVID-19 the summer opener of this event was put on hold.
Many events for this non-profit organization was canceled due to the virus. The organization ended up losing over $150,000.
However, they knew still having this retreat for the kids this year was vitally important.
Local law enforcement chose ten teens who are attending tonight's event. They are the first out of 200 who will visit this fall.
The only reason there are 10 kids attending tonight's event is due to COVID-19.
In order to protect the children masks will be worn, they will be sanitizing everything they use, and they will be staying socially distant. With not having such a big number of kids attending it will be easier to protect them from the virus.
At the retreat they, the youth, will learn very important skills. They will learn about k-9 handling, how to use a drone, search and rescue techniques, archery, ATV riding, and much more.
The main reason for making sure this program is here is to help at-risk teens.
Executive Director of the Indiana Sherrif Youth Ranch Scott Minier said having an at-risk kid doesn't mean the kids are bad. When they use the term 'at-risk' they are referring to children who have been involved in a crime scene or seen firsthand something terrible happen.
He said they want to be able to help out the parents and grandparents of these kids. He wants the kids to know that they are here for them no matter what.
Minier said, "and we hope that we will help develop better kids with safer futures."