SRDs have dedicated themselves to reaching the youth of Bay County. In the summer of 2000, the Wilderness Camp program came into existence in an effort to reach Bay County youth, ages 12-17.
Each summer three 6 day, 5 night sessions are hosted, consisting of two male and one female camp. Approximately 30 to 40 youth are accommodated during each session. During this stay at camp, the youth sleep in cabins built by the SRDs, which also operate the camp 24/7.
Activities are planned to encourage the progression of self discipline, mental and physical control, team spirit and how to have clean, healthy FUN. Educational and participatory demonstrations are provided by Bay County Sheriff's Office specialty units, ie; dive team, air unit, K-9, Crime Scene and other Sheriff's Office personnel, local educators, along with other local law enforcement agencies.
All drinks, meals, snacks, transportation and care is provided by the Sheriff's Office SRD program, at no cost to the youth, parent or guardian. The interaction between these youth and the SRDs affords each the opportunity to see each other in another light, which makes the following school year much easier for both. The Wilderness Camp is funded primarily by the annual Wilderness Camp golf tournament, sponsored each year by the SRDs.