ST. CLOUD -- Twenty-two young people from the St. Cloud area spent the past week with members of the St. Cloud Police Department as part of the St. Cloud Youth Leadership Academy (SCYLA).

St. Cloud Police Chief Blair Anderson says the program is directed towards helping shape the youth in the community.

"These are young men in their early teens, and we all know it's a tough and confusing time for anybody in their early teens," says Anderson.

The program takes area kids ages 13-16 years-old to Camp Ripley for a week and teaches them three key elements -- Respect, Responsibility and Trust.

"All of the programing is built around that, they get lots of outdoor time and physical fitness, nutrition, classroom sessions on everything from table manners to conflict resolution," says Anderson.

The SCYLA program is in its second year. Chief Anderson says the officers still keep in touch with last years group.

"Most of them are still here in our school district and we continue to mentor those young men just like we will with this newest class," says Anderson.

SCYLA is designed to shape teens into future members of the community, as well as show a support system the youth can lean on along the way.

"They have a clean slate from this point forward, and they should make the best possible choices they can make and we think we have given them the tools for them to do that," says Anderson.

Upon their completion of the week long academy, the members of SCYLA received a certificate of completion during a ceremony held for their family and friends.

Chief Anderson plans to continue the program for years to come.


The newest SCYLA members line up for their picture. (Photo: Alex Svejkovsky, WJON News)
The newest SCYLA members line up for their picture. (Photo: Alex Svejkovsky, WJON News)