Written by Nick Kammerer
The Irving Police Explorers participated in the Fort Worth Police Department SWAT camp at Sid Richardson Scout Ranch in Bridgeport, TX from June 27-30. Approximately one hundred Police Explorers from across state of Texas attended the four-day camp that encouraged participants to explore the career of a SWAT officer.
The events and activities at the SWAT camp were designed to promote teamwork, personal motivation, and discipline. They were designed to teach Explorers police and SWAT team tactics that are commonly used in dangerous, high-risk situations. The Explorers also participated in the Challenging Outdoor Personal Experience (COPE) high ropes course.
The Police Explorers arrived on Thursday afternoon and began their exciting weekend by engaging in group exercises that encouraged safety, teamwork and trust. Included in the activities was a trust fall where Explorers fell backwards off of a six-foot-high podium and were caught by their teammates down below.
The Explorers were up bright and early on Friday to participate in a mini duathlon. Participants in the race were required to run 1.5 miles, bike for two miles and run another half mile. Throughout the day, the Explorers competed in numerous team events including canoe races, bicycle relays, an obstacle course and a squad-car pull.
Perhaps the most exciting activity at this years’ SWAT camp was the COPE high ropes course where Explorers suited up in harnesses and safety equipment and maneuvered through a challenging obstacle course that included a 40-foot-high zip-line. In one portion of COPE, Explorers walked across a wooden balance beam that was suspended thirty feet in the air.
A few Police Explorers were hesitant to participate in the COPE course, but were quickly persuaded by their group members through positive motivation.
"As a leader in the Explorer post, it is important for me to lead by example and motivate my teammates,” Irving Police Explorer Sergeant Ricky Morado explained. "In the COPE high ropes course, I had to overcome my fears so that my fellow Explorers could overcome theirs. It was definitely challenging, but I felt a sense of accomplishment after I completed the course."