Path Home Shows 2010 Show Archive July 2010 Show 1029 Highway Patrol Camp

Highway Patrol Camp

We visit a summer camp in Burns Flat, Oklahoma, giving high-schoolers an up-close look at the Oklahoma Highway Patrol.
Highway Patrol Camp

Highway Patrol Camp

For more information visit these links:

Cadet Lawman Academy
Oklahoma Highway Patrol
Oklahoma Department of CareerTech -- CIMC

Show Dates

Show 1029: Highway Patrol Camp

Air date: July 18, 2010



Rob McClendon:  Well for the past 37 years Oklahoma’s Elk Lodge has worked with the Oklahoma Highway Patrol to put on a summer camp where seniors-to-be, can learn what it takes to be a trooper.  And our Courtenay DeHoff was there as the day began.

[cadets chanting while marching]

Courtenay DeHoff:  They’re marching their way into a week of camp.

[cadets chanting while marching]

Bootcamp.  These soon to be high school seniors took part in a grueling week of highway patrol cadet training in Burns Flat.

Wayne Skrdla:  One thing that, that you look for in, in someone is a future, and this gives them that future.

Courtenay:  Lieutenant Wayne Skrdla is the Assistant Commandant of the academy.

Wayne:  After 28 years of doing this, I’ve seen thousands of kids that’s come through here and each time we do it, something new happens; you know, some, somebody, somebody else steps forward.  You’ll be walking down the street one day and somebody that was here 10 years ago will go, hey, you know, how are you?  And, you know, they’ve changed.

[shouting during training]

Courtenay:  But that change doesn’t come without some tough guidance and hard work.

Wayne:  We do aircraft and lake patrol activities up at the lake; drive boats, airboats, we fly airplanes.  Then, we do unknown traffic stops along the road; which a trooper might encounter when he’s out there working.

We have classroom both Monday afternoon and Tuesday afternoon.  We teach them several different things.  This year we implemented the 25 Alive, which teaches the kids about drinking and driving and the responsibilities behind the wheel.

Courtenay:  Not only do they get behind the wheel of police vehicles, they also get to learn how to handle firearms.

Wayne:  Young people will learn how to not only shoot a shotgun, but they’ll learn how to shoot a pistol, and they’ll be efficient at it, and they’ll be safe with it.

Courtenay:  Training not just for a career in law enforcement, but life-long lessons.

Shawnda Sweger:  Whew, lots of pushups!

Courtenay:  Shawnda Sweger is a cadet from Bristow High School.

Shawnda:  Fixing mattresses back on your bed, picking up people, helping people, learning to come together as a team; that’s probably been the hardest thing.  Is like, even when like people are quitting and you just want to get mad at them, it’s just like, okay, it’s alright, you can do it; that’s probably been the hardest thing.  But yeah, learning to be a team and just working together.

Courtenay:  Working together, but also learning the true meaning of family.

[cadets chanting and marching]

Senior, Dakota Foreman, is a student at Sarah High School in Western Technology Center.

Dakota Foreman:  Like they said when we first get, got here, they said you don’t know family.  And everybody thinks they do, but until they go through all of this they really don’t know family.  I mean, out there it’s not really our lives we’re putting on the line, but it is our bodies and it is, it is painful for a lot of us.  And I’m not the best cadet out there, I can’t do the most pushups, but I definitely try as hard as I can.

Courtenay:  And trying is exactly what the dedicated men and women who help run this camp strive to see.

Because the future truly is about our youth according to Skrdla.

Wayne:  It’s not about you and it’s not about others; it’s about our youth, the state of Oklahoma.  And one day that youth is gonna be taking care of you and me, and if we don’t nurture that, that’s not gonna be there.  So what these kids benefit from will benefit them throughout life; respect, honesty, integrity, responsibilities, and they will carry friendships with them for the rest of their lives.