BROWNWOOD, Texas - Brownwood Police suggest keeping kids occupied during their spring break to prevent themselves from getting involved in crime.
Brownwood Assistant Chief of Police James Fuller said the spring season and weather plays a bigger factor in crime, rather than spring break, because people are more likely to be out and about when it's warmer.
Brown County Probation Officer, Kendall Kent, also said there was not a big correlation between spring break and the crime rate in the area. He said only 2 juveniles have been arrested this week so far.
Fuller said scheduling activities for children would be beneficial for both them and parents.
"This way kids aren't just left to their devices and parents have an idea of what their kids are up to during the day," said Fuller. "One of the problems we see during spring break is children staying out later at night, but the more activities they're involved with throughout the day equals less activities in the evening."
Fuller said he appreciates programs like First Baptist Church's (FBC) Champs Camp, where kids have an outlet to do something constructive.
According to FBC Champs Camp director, Celeste Church, the one-week camp is a Christian-based sports camp where kids can participate in sports and crafts. They also learn to be leaders and develop sportsmanship, wisdom and humility.
"It's hard for parents to find child care for just one week of the year, so what we want to do is provide a safe environment for kids and for families to have a place for their kids while they're at work during spring break," said Church. "Most families don't get a spring break. Mom and Dad don't."
Church said this is the 11th year FBC is hosting the camp. This is also the first year they've included 7th and 8th graders.
"They're at that level where you think they're ok at home for a few hours but all day for 5 days in a row...that can be a little too much. For some kids, it does get hard for them to stay out of trouble. We don't look at it as just keeping them out of trouble, but giving them a productive thing to do over spring break where they can grow and also spend time with friends. Even though they're older, they still need something to do."
Fuller said the best advice for parents is to have activities scheduled and have some established rules of accountability, regardless of their kids' ages.
"Know where your children are. Make them call you when they're going somewhere, especially those who can drive. You don't want to keep a teenager couped up in the house but I think the parents have the right and they need to know where their children are going at all times. That way you can avoid some of the tragedies that take place."
It is not too late to enroll your kids in Champs Camp. You can call FBC at (325) 646-8505 for more information.