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Kids at READY camp learn to be prepared, not scared in emergency situations

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CAMP WILLIAMS, Wis. (WXOW) - READY Camp trains kids in self-defense, CPR and wound packing so they're prepared for emergency situations.

'Responding to Emergencies and Disasters with Youth' Camp Counselor Haily Dudzinski said she's learning to prepare for the worst, to do her best as a future first responder.

"It helped me learn what I want to do and how I can help others,' Dudzinski said. "I found out that I really enjoy this field of work. I like seeing how everything just falls into place when they have the right direction."

READY Camp Advisor Maggie Menard-Mueller said she's proud of campers-turned-counselors like Dudzinski who participate in the week-long sleep-away camp at Camp Williams, within the walls of Volk Field near Camp Douglas.

"They become safe because they're empowered to step up when they're needed," Menard-Mueller said. "They'll be the confident ones that will run toward the disaster instead of running away and being afraid… needing to be rescued they'll be the rescuers."

She has seen campers go on to work as nurses, doctors and EMTs.

"[Camp] Makes me more confident because if I can go two to three years with being an instant commander with my peers, I feel like I could help out a lot in the real world," Dudzinski said.

The COVID-19 pandemic prevented her from attending in-person camp in 2020, it did not deter her future dreams.

"I didn't have the chance to work in the field due to COVID we had to kind of stay in the classroom or online," she said. "So it was very interesting to see how it all gets to work in the field."

Dudzinski said she's already used her training during minor emergencies at her 'real world' job at Culver's.

She plans to major in emergency management at the University of North Texas in the spring of 2022.

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Marcus Aarsvold

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