A New Providence teen has been named female Camp Cadet camper of the year.Rachel Hohenwarter, 13, was among more than 80 graduates -ages 11 through 13 - from the camp, which was held at Camp Ware in Peach Bottom in August.
Hohenwarter, the daughter of Greg and Francine Hohenwarter, is a seventh-grader at Resurrection School in Lancaster.
Last year her sister Sarah, 14, was named female camper of the year.
Camp Cadet is sponsored by the Pennsylvania State Police and is staffed by troopers, local police officers and county sheriff deputies.
The goal of the camp is to "introduce participants to the diverse criminal justice system and establish a positive relationship with law enforcement personnel," said Trooper Blain Hertzog, who coordinates the camp.
The campers were trained in physical fitness, law enforcement and swimming. They also took trips and had guest speakers.
Hohenwarter said she wanted to go to Camp Cadet partially because her sister went but also because "it sounded fun."
"I think the physical training was fun," she said of the camp. She plays basketball for her school and played Solanco Youth Soccer.
Hohenwarter said she learned about safety at the camp and was "really surprised" when she found out that she was named female camper of the year.
"There were a lot of really good people there," she said.
Tyson Bagio, 14, an eighth-grader at Donegal Middle School, was named male camper of the year.
Hohenwarter said she plans to attend the honors camp July 27-Aug. 2 at the State Police Academy in Hershey. She would like to join the U.S. Army after high school.
"We're very proud of them both," Hohenwarter's mother said of her two daughters. "Rachel really liked the structure of the camp."
Camp Cadet is free to youth because it is paid for by fundraisers and donations. The honors camp is paid for by the camp's board of directors.
The camp focuses on discipline, self esteem, teamwork, drug and alcohol education, violence prevention and other issues facing youth.
The two campers were recognized at the state police barracks in Lancaster Jan. 14 at a small reception where they were given Camp Cadet jackets.
Cynthia Boyer Blakeslee, an attorney who is secretary for the board of directors, said the goal of the camp is to steer youth toward discipline and making good choices.
She said some people get the impression that the camp is for juvenile delinquents.
"It's not a sleepaway camp and it's also not a boot camp," she said. "All our counselors purposely plan a structure."
Blakeslee credited Trooper Hertzog and the camp counselors who spend the week with the youth.
"The counselors leave their day job for something more intense," she said.
Cpl. John J. Comerford, who is part of the camp staff, said he is amazed at the fact that 11, 12 and 13-year-olds can put themselves through a camp such as Camp Cadet.
"You should be proud of yourselves," he said. "That's why you are credited with this achievement."
Former board president Dorie Weik said the board is proud of the structure of the camp.
"The cadets are taking their first steps to be good citizens in out community," she said.
Hertzog said the campers were chosen for the honor because they "stuck out above and beyond some campers."