Camp ChanceNow in its 11th year, Camp Chance is a 5-day residential summer camp that offers a highly structured camping and counseling experience with a mix of challenging physical,classroom mental and emotional activities. Over 550 middle school youth have benefited from this camping program since its inception in 1999. Camp Chance is a program created by the San Rafael Police Department in collaboration with the Marin County Sheriff’s Department and Marin Office of Education.

The San Rafael Police Youth Services Bureau program supervisor consults with the staff at middle policeschools to identify the most at-risk and under served youth to participate in the weeklong camp, held at Walker Creek Ranch, a Marin Office of Education camp and conference center located in West Marin.

Walker Creek Ranch provides adult leadership for all camp activities, including lifeguards. Mental health professionals from the San Rafael Police Youth Services Bureau facilitate workshops on topics relevant to today’s youth during the camp.

Marin County Sheriff deputies join with San Rafael police officers to participate with the kids in camping activities throughout the week. This informal and personal contact with peace officers has proven to be a big win-win for the kids, police and community. When children feel more connected with their community and have a good relationship with their police officers, they are less likely to be involved in destructive behavior and criminal activity.

The San Rafael Police Youth Services Bureau mental health staff provides counseling services to children during the school year and family therapy is also available year round at the YSB office.