BASSETERRE, St. Kitts – As onlookers watched on Friday, more than 400 local youths participated in a street march displaying placards portraying positive messages like: “Love is Power; With Our Love We Can Save the World; No Guns for Me; and Peace, Love, Live.”
The march was sponsored by the Ministry of National Security Royal St. Christopher and Nevis Police Force Explorers Group Annual Summer Youth Camp. Camp activities began July 29 and last until Aug. 5 at the Dr. William Connor Primary School in St. Johnston Village.
Camp Coordinator, Constable Lauston Percival, said the week has been quite rewarding. The street march was designed to draw greater public attention to the youth and the promise they hold in shaping the future of St. Kitts and Nevis. The messages displayed on the placards were composed entirely by the five- to 18-year-old participants.
Commissioner of Police, Ian Queeley, led the march. He noted that the ministry and police force are ramping up support for community and social intervention programmes that play a greater role in positively shaping the minds of youth, which in turn will make it less likely that they will engage in antisocial activities as they get older.
Queeley challenged residents and said, “We look forward to the community responding, seeing that the police are playing their part.”
A special feature the activity saw 14 recruits led by Corporal Derell Boon of the Police Training Complex, marching in full uniform in a section within the march.
“We thought that it would have been a very good idea to have the recruits come and display some of the training that they are currently learning … and we know that children love to see police marching,” the commissioner said. “We felt it would be a good idea to have that display.”
Commissioner Queeley applauded the recruits, who are only one month into the six-month training course.
“They have to be ready for the Independence parade so as we say in local language ‘they have to take night and make day,” he said, “which stresses the importance of being well prepared.”
“I want to commend them also because I think their display, having had only four weeks [training] so far, has been essentially good and we look forward to bigger and better things.”
The Explorers group camp continues today with a boat ride to Nevis and climaxes Sunday with a worship service at the People’s Evangelistic Centre at Needsmust. There will be a luncheon and closing ceremony at OOJJ’s Conference Centre.
Constable Percival thanked the sponsors, community policing team, parents and volunteers who contributed to the success of the second annual camp.