Last week the LCC K-9 Ministry was thrilled to be able to meet the kids attending the Concerns of Police Survivors (C.O.P.S.) Kids Camp in Salem, Wisconsin. The camp is organized for surviving children (6-14 years of age) and their parent or legal guardian of law enforcement officers who died in the line of duty. It allows families to interact in a relaxed setting, removed from everyday life.
On Saturday, five LCC K-9 Ministry teams welcomed the kids and their families as they arrived at Milwaukee Mitchell Airport. There were 138 campers, and our primary role was to be with them in counseling sessions, but we could meet them while they did other activities. The kids enjoyed exploring police motorcycles, checking out a helicopter, shooting 22-caliber rifles, and other fun things.
Some of the comments the handlers shared were:
"One of the girls from the second group arrived early. I asked her where she was from, and she said Miami Beach. I shared with her that Tobias and I had been down to Surfside following the condominium collapse. She told me that that was the last 'job' her dad worked before he died in August 2021."
"Mary was a big hit with the two groups we served. She was in the center of the circle of kids, and they took turns spending time with her. We feel very blessed to have served these young people today. Today I was in with a counselor again. It was her first year at the camp. One thing she did was ask the kids to picture themselves in the future. Who did they want to be? Who did they want around them? What did they want to do? One boy said, 'I want to keep living my faith.'"
On Friday, the teams were back at the airport to see them off as they returned home. We were blessed to be able to serve these children and their families and hope to see them again soon.
The LCC K-9 teams serving included:
LCC K-9 Police Ministry Dog Candace (LCC Staff)
LCC K-9 Police Ministry Dog Charity (Brookfield - Brookfield, Wisconsin)
LCC K-9 Police Ministry Dog Dora (Lutheran High School Association of Greater Milwaukee - Milwaukee, Wisconsin)
LCC K-9 Police Ministry Dog Eve (St. John’s - Lombard, Illinois)
LCC K-9 Police Ministry Dog Julia (King of Glory - Elgin, Illinois)
LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Mary (St. Paul's - Janesville, Wisconsin)
LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Michael (LCC Staff)
LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Rhoda (Prince of Peace - Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin)
LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Samson (Zion - Marengo, Illinois)
LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Tobias (Lord of Glory - Grayslake, Illinois)
LCC K-9 Comfort Dog in training Galilee
LCC K-9 Comfort Dog in training Zacchaeus