Pennsylvania State Police Seeks Applicants For Annual Youth Camp

Harrisburg, PA – The Pennsylvania State Police (PSP), in collaboration with the Pennsylvania National Guard and Pennsylvania American Legion, has begun accepting applications for its annual youth camp. The Elmer Hafer-American Legion-State Police-National Guard Youth Camp will be held June 9-15, 2024, at Messiah University in Mechanicsburg, Cumberland County. 

The six-day summer leadership camp is for teenagers, ages 15 to 17, interested in pursuing a career in law enforcement or the military. The camp, formerly known as State Police Youth Week, works to improve the relationship between Pennsylvania's youth and the law enforcement community. This year marks the 52nd camp held since its inception in 1970.

"This camp and others like it, including our Camp Cadet programs, offer young people a chance to build confidence and enhance leadership skills." said Colonel Christopher Paris, Commissioner of the Pennsylvania State Police. "Attendees will make memories that will last a lifetime while getting a chance to see firsthand what a career in law enforcement or the military can offer."

Members of the PSP, the Pennsylvania Army National Guard, and the American Legion staff the week-long camp. Cadets work on team-building exercises, physical fitness training, classroom activities involving police and military careers, and a marksmanship course. Cadets also visit the State Police Academy in Hershey and Fort Indiantown Gap National Guard Training Center in Lebanon County. The camp offers three $1,000 scholarship awards at the conclusion of the week.

"Considering a career of service to our commonwealth or nation is a big choice for teens and their families," said Maj. Gen. Mark Schindler, Pennsylvania's adjutant general and head of the DMVA. "Programs like this allow teens to explore their interest and provide a closer look at what a future with the PSP or the PANG might look like. We are thrilled to continue this partnership and opportunity for young Pennsylvanians."

Applicants must be between the ages of 15 and 17 prior to entering the camp and not reach age 18 during the camp. Cadets who previously attended the camp are not eligible to apply again. Applicants should be physically fit, in good health, and have a good academic record. There is no cost to participants, as their local American Legion post sponsors their attendance.

Interested applicants can read more about the camp by visiting Applications are available on the legion's application page.  

Additionally, State Police personnel host regional camp cadet programs. The week-long camp cadet programs are for Pennsylvanians ages 11-15. To inquire about availability of a camp cadet near you, contact your local Troop Community Services Officer.


Media Contacts

Adam Reed

State Police Media

Myles Snyder

State Police Media