Above, Kenny Gipson, 11, of Fountaintown, explodes charges with the help of Indiana State Police Master Trooper Rick Stockdale on Thursday. The explosives were part of a training event for the Respect for Law Campers at Hanover College. Below, a watermelon explodes during the demonstration. (Staff photo by Ken Ritchie/kritchie@madisoncourier.com)
Above, Kenny Gipson, 11, of Fountaintown, explodes charges with the help of Indiana State Police Master Trooper Rick Stockdale on Thursday. The explosives were part of a training event for the Respect for Law Campers at Hanover College. Below, a watermelon explodes during the demonstration. (Staff photo by Ken Ritchie/kritchie@madisoncourier.com)
Hanover College experienced an increase in law enforcement presence this week. But not to worry, it was only a camp to teach kids about police work.

A group of 21 fifth- and sixth-graders experienced the life of a police officer first-hand at the Indiana State Police Respect for Law Camp, which took place at Hanover College.

"It's a give respect to get respect," said Trooper Nate Adams, one of the organizers of the camp. The idea is to teach excellence through discipline and create a positive attitude among the campers.

Campers reported Thursday afternoon and got to experience a demonstration from the Explosive Ordnance Disposal team. Trooper Brian Meeks explained why explosive devices are so dangerous and showed just what kind of damage a firecracker or bomb can do.

One demonstration was done using a blasting cap in a watermelon. Watermelon was used because it has a similar consistency to the human body.

"What do you think that would do if it went off in your hand?" Meeks asked after the explosion was triggered.

Most of the troopers involved in the camp are from the Versailles post. Troopers also took part in fundraising to help 10 kids afford to attend camp.

Friday was filled with different experiences, starting with a demonstration of emergency vehicles. Actual police vehicles, including police cars, a helicopter from the AirMethods crew and a Department of Natural Resources boat all were on display.

Kids even got a chance to drive golf carts using sobriety glasses to see the effects alcohol or drugs have on cognitive responses.

Other activities included a lesson on drugs and an example of a crime scene investigation.

After a few more programs today, the campers are scheduled to have a graduation ceremony at 3 p.m. at the college.