Safety Town is a week-long, half-day safety camp for five and six year olds. It has been a long-standing program for decades in the United States, and made its debut in Hillsboro in July 2009, as a partnership between Hillsboro Police and Hillsboro Parks and Recreation.
Each day at Safety Town, 48 kids begin by meeting up with their camp counselors (11 to 15 year olds) for check-in. Then all the groups gather to sing songs and review what they learned the day before. After that, they begin rotating through various stations. Each day focuses on different safety concepts, to include bike, pedestrian, personal, gun, animal, school bus, water, electrical, and internet safety, as well as emergency preparedness, fire prevention, and poison and ambulance awareness. We also have a Kid Fit station which focuses on keeping our bodies safe by staying active and keeping hydrated.
Two themes we emphasize throughout the week are kindness; and police officers are trusted friends who the kids can always go to if they ever need help. All of the safety concepts are taught by individuals in our community with expertise in the named areas.
The music and craft stations reinforce the day’s safety topics. There’s also a 9-1-1 station in which the kids practice their name, address, and phone number, and practice calling 9-1-1 on a simulator. The children have a chance to visit the Safety Town course daily, as a driver and pedestrian. As a driver, they must wear a helmet, buckle their seatbelt, obey traffic and road signs, and yield to pedestrians.
On the last day of camp, a graduation ceremony is held to honor the kids’ achievements and recognize the student counselors for their outstanding leadership.
Camp registration is handled through Hillsboro Parks & Recreation.