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Raleigh camp teaches girls life skills through sports

Posted June 27

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— Twenty middle school girls packed the First Presbyterian Church Monday as the Raleigh Police Department kicked off a week-long camp aimed at building life skills through sports.

Mallory Griffin, a local high school student and daughter of WRAL's Amanda Lamb, came up with the idea for the day camp, aimed at teaching young girls volleyball and life skills. She wrote the curriculum and pitched the idea to Cassandra Deck Brown, Raleigh's police chief.

"I want these kids to have the same opportunities I did," said 16-year-old Griffin.

The church donated the space, NC Elite donated the volleyballs, and the police department got a grant to feed the girls lunch and snacks. In addition to the police officers, the camp is staffed with teen volunteers from local high schools and volleyball clubs.

"I am excited because it tells me that being closer to police officers is better than being further from them," said 11-year-old Kayla Overbey.

On Monday morning, Chief Cassandra Deck-Brown surprised the campers with a visit.

"Sports actually helps to instill a self-esteem, and that level of confidence that we sometimes may not necessarily have because it puts you in a position where you've got to make a decision," Deck-Brown said.

Griffin said she wants those skills to stay with the girls on and off the court.

"I just hope they learn something," Griffin said. "Maybe they don't love volleyball, but hopefully they will learn life skills."

This summer's program is part of a pilot, but if it works, the camp will be extended to two weeks next summer.

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