By Naeisha Rose
The NYPD held its first youth summer camp at Baisley Pond Park last week attended by more than 50 children and teens.
Typically, the NYPD hosts an overnight camp in upstate New York, but due to lack of funds, police from the 113th Precinct regrouped and under the leadership of Detective Tanya Duhaney held it at 156-10 Baisely Blvd.
Assisting with the summer camp that ran from Aug. 30 to Aug. 31 was Sgt. Rochener Gilot, also a member of the Community Affairs unit.
“It was detective Duhaney’s idea,” said Gilot. “She realized that a lot of kids don’t get together anymore.”
For this brief camp, youths were away from their cell phones and computers and gathered at the 109.61-acre park that borders South Jamaica, Rochdale and St. Albans to learn skills from the NYPD, FDNY, the Mounted and State Police, ROTC members from St. John’s University and the Black Forest Group, an organization that helps to organize outdoor activities.
“Hopefully, they’ll learn a lot,,” said Gilot. “Right now they are learning about CPR from the FDNY.”
Spread out near the 30-acre pond at the center of the park were youths with dummies who were learning how to describe an emergency to 911 so that EMTs know how to respond when they arrive, how to perform CPR, how to identify someone having a heart attack or stroke, and how to use a defibrillator safely.
Mentoring the kids was Darryl Green of the FDNY’s Bureau Training Department.
“If you get one person to learn these skills, they can save more than one life,” said Green. “This is a much better outreach to the public…and if they save one person, that would be fantastic.”
Members at the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps from St. John’s University who spent time with the youths at the camp included Lucy Jiang (2020), Conor Lynch (2020), Jude S. Saint (2019) and Logan Johnson (2019).
“We are looking to have a lot of fun and we are going to teach them some how to march properly, drills and ceremonies, and what to look for in the military, and what to look for in the future,” said Johnson, who is studying criminal justice. “They are thinking about high school, but I want them to think even further ahead like college and beyond,” added the ROTC member, who has plans to join the military and work for the FBI.
Some of the members of the Black Forest Group teaching kids rock climbing and fishing were Timothy Chester, Jason Jenkins, William Martin and Akeem Mealing.
“We learned to fish here at Baisely Pond,” said Mealing. “We were semi self-taught and we introduced ourselves to some of the older gentlemen around here and they gave us tips and tricks on how to fish.”
The Thomas Edison (2005) graduates were happy to pay it forward to the youths and wanted to instill a lesson in protecting nature and the neighborhood.
“Give back to the pond,” said Mealing. “This is our neighborhood. If you don’t take care of it, nobody else will.”
Reach reporter Naeisha Rose by e-mail at nrose