Fort Smith Noon Kiwanis Club Hosts Boys Camp

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LAKE FORT SMITH (KFSM) -- The Fort Smith Noon Kiwanis Club is hosting its 79th summer camp for local boys at Lake Fort Smith.

"We hold the camp up here every year because we know there is a lot of kids who don't get an outdoor experience," said Steven Riggs, a member of the Kiwanis and the camp counselor. "We get to provide this for them to get out and touch the outdoors, experience the outdoors instead of setting inside and taking up time with video games. It's good exercise and learning for them."

The club spends a year gathering donations, sending out a letter campaign and relies on the community to help provide scholarships to the boys. The scholarships ensure the camp is at no charge to them.

"This is a first stage in telling them someday they are going to be men and they are going to have to learn how to treat other people and to learn to get along with each other," he said.

The camp ensures over 100 boys attend the camp in a two week span every year.

The boys who attend the camp are chosen by the Kiwanis and school counselors who see potential or a need in the boy.

"This year we started something new," said Mike Nichols, camp director. "The theme is principals for manhood. We have men in the community, business men, law enforcement, from all walks of life , veterans from all walks of life come in and give some principals and their life story for a few minutes on what's important to be a man. To be a good father, a good husband."

Thursday (July 21) was law enforcement day. Members of the Arkansas State Police, Crawford County Sheriff's Department and the Sebastian County Sheriff's Department attend the camp. The male role models rode ATV'S with the boys and took them on boat rides.