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Sheriff’s Camp kids conquer 3 Dune Challenge

Written by Chronicle Staff. Posted in Uncategorized

Published on August 12, 2015 with No Comments

More than 50 kids attending the Northwest Indiana Regional Sheriff’s Camp at Indiana Dunes State Park spent a morning conquering the park’s 3 Dune Challenge.

The 3 Dune Challenge is a special 1.5-mile course that involves climbing the park’s three highest sand dunes – Mount Jackson (elevation 176 feet), Mount Holden (184 feet), and Mount Tom (192 feet).

“It’s hard, but it’s rewarding at the end, coming up the hill and seeing Lake Michigan,” said camper Cooper Jones, 12, of Valparaiso.

Jones said the hardest part of the challenge was climbing the sandy inclines, where he felt that for every step he took, he slid back a step.

“I thought it was pretty challenging, but it was fun,” said Bo Thorgren, 13, of Valparaiso.

Andrew Skalku, 13, of Chesterton, said he did the challenge for his father, who has battled cancer this year.

“He always inspires me to do something,” Skalku said of his father, who he texted upon reaching each sand dune peak.

Porter County Sheriff David Reynolds formed the camp this year so kids from 4 to 13 who live in Lake, Porter, LaPorte and Jasper counties could have an enjoyable week at the Indiana Dunes and learn about law enforcement.

The kids learned about SWAT, water rescue, police helicopters, fire department rescue (including a demonstration using the vehicle extrication tools) and more during the three-day camp, which wrapped up Thursday. Reynolds expects the camp to continue annually at the dunes.

Reynolds said doing the 3 Dune Challenge was a chance to do something fun with the kids and show them that fitness is becoming an increasingly important thing for police officers. Each kids got a 3 Dune Challenge shirt after finishing.

“They did it and they earned it, and they’ll never forget it because it was quite a challenge,” Reynolds said.

Indiana Dunes Tourism Promotions Director Ken Kosky said thousands of individuals have done the 3 Dune Challenge, and now more groups are starting to do it. Reynolds said he plans to have his department challenge other police agencies to do get together and do a group challenge.

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