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Urban Alliance Youth Camps to Address Gun Usage Narrative

June 5, 2022

KALAMAZOO, MI – Three camps designed for teens and preteens will work to help break the cycle of gun violence.

The three Life Camps in Kalamazoo run by Urban Alliance, Inc, are designed for people ages 11 to 16 to help guide kids away from gun violence. The theme of the camp is “Hands are Meant to Heal, Not Kill,” a news release said.

They will hear from victims and perpetrators of gun violence during the free camp. There will be discussions and activities to help youth learn how to avoid gun violence cycles and the difference between acceptable and unacceptable gun use, the release said.

“Our goal is to educate, empower, and equip Life Camp attendees with the tools and resources needed to step outside the cycles of gun violence within Kalamazoo,” Urban Alliance Outreach Manager James Harris said. “In addition to helping local youth avoid gun violence, we also want to help them become advocates against gun violence.”

Urban Alliance typically works with adults, but the camps are a way to start chance early, Executive Director Chris Pompey said.

“Camps like these give us a ‘jump start’ to create a different narrative about the usage of guns,” Pompey said. “Guns can be used to hunt or for recreation at the shooting range safely and legally. Locally and nationally, we need to understand what safe, legal, and acceptable gun use looks like to ensure that no one is hurt or ends up in serious trouble.”

Laser tag, paintball target practice and water gun fights are some of the activities scheduled for the camps, the release said. Youth who show great leadership can be awarded up to $150.

Participants will also write letters encouraging potential or perpetual shooters to not pull the trigger, the release said.

The free camps include breakfast, lunch and all needed materials, the release said. Guardians can attend the camp with their child but are not required.

Read the article on MLive.


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