New Beginnings Church holds kids camp to learn more about first responders

Published: Jul. 18, 2022 at 11:03 AM EDT
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - New Beginnings Church in Harrisonburg gave children in the area the chance to meet local first responders and learn more about what they do for the community, including air medical crews.

“Our primary role is to serve the citizens of Rockingham, Augusta County and surrounding areas and transport the sick and injured to a higher level of care,” Chris Goode, a flight nurse paramedic, said.

But instead of landing on the scene of an emergency, air care crews got to land at a church camp where dozens of kids were celebrating their arrival.

“They were jumping up and down, they were happy to see us, they were clapping. So, it makes you feel good about what you’re doing,” Goode said.

The Rockingham County Sheriff’s Office, Harrisonburg Police, Rockingham County Fire and Rescue and members of the military were among some of the other first responders who stopped by the summer camp.

“It’s been really cool to see how they impact our community,” fifth-grader Jadyn said.

“It’s been really awesome to see what a great job they do and how they keep our community safe,” fifth-grader Brinley added.

Kids got the chance to get a closer look inside emergency vehicles and ask questions. They learned more about what each type of first responder or military member does and how they serve the community.

“It’s a very cool thing for them to go ‘Wow! I get to see this up close and personal. I get to learn more.’ I think coupling the excitement with the learning has been very special, and they’ve been very engaged in what these service members are doing in our community,” Jessica DiPuma with New Beginnings Church said.

And while it was a positive and encouraging experience for them, interacting with kids in the community is also valuable for the first responders.

“We’re here to serve them. That’s what we do. That’s what we love. That’s what we enjoy,” Lt. Jeremy Ramsey with Rockingham County Fire and Rescue said. “They know they can trust us a little bit more when they do have problems or that bad day comes.”

Church leaders with NBC said they were grateful to have had the opportunity to thank first responders in this way for all of the selfless work they do.

“The real-life people that serve in the community and put their lives on the line for their safety... Totally a selfless thing. Teaching kids to be selfless is probably one of the most important things you can do,” Pastor Drew Price said.

In addition to learning from first responders, children at the camp also got the chance to participate in exciting activities and games and sing and dance along with a live band.

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