By Jessica Wallace
The day starts at 6 a.m. - sharp.
Morning exercises are followed by breakfast and chores, and rooms are inspected to ensure chores are performed perfectly.
And then it's time to hit the books in the classroom.
After class, dinner is served - but only before drills begin.
Before 10 p.m. curfew, there's a window of time for homework and a bit of free time.
Then, it's lights out.
The strict regimen is not everyone's idea of a fun spring break, but 23 local youth will give up their week off from school to see if they've got what it takes to become an RCMP member.
"We want to give them a real idea of what it is to go through police training and to be a policeman," said Rupert Meinke, Kamloops RCMP Youth Officer.
The week-long RCMP Youth Camp allows young people to partake in an RCMP mock training camp modelled after the real training camp in Regina.
The camp begins next week and is held at Brocklehurst Middle School in it's third year working in conjunction with School District 73's trades program.
"The kids show up on Sunday and they stay with us for 24 hours a day until the Friday," Meinke said.
The camp is not for everyone.
The school district recommends students and they must pass a physical fitness check, write an essay, complete a background check and maintain grades in good standing. Students who qualify for the camp study the Criminal Code, human rights, traffic, general duty and specialty units. They also work with emergency response teams, tactical teams and ride in a helicopter. At the end of the week, they apply the skills they've learned in a mock scenario.
Meinke said the purpose of the camp, that also runs in other locations throughout the province, is not intended for recruiting purposes, but to help students determine whether they are committed to the idea of a career in policing.
"It's really to help them make choices to help them into their next stage of their life," he said.
Meinke said most RCMP members aren't hired directly out of high school and often have some kind of post secondary education.
Volunteer work and work experience are a must.
"We're looking for diverse people," he said.
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