Dear Sir or Madam,

I would like to take this opportunity to introduce you to a free program for children in Allegheny County. In 2004, the Pennsylvania State Police joined with the Allegheny County Police Department and the Allegheny County Sheriffs Department to bring the Camp Cadet program to Allegheny County. Camp Cadet is a youth camp established by the state police. Following is the history of the program and the reason for it.

Camp Cadet was originally formed in 1970 by Trooper Albert R. Vish, of the Pennsylvania State Police. Through his untiring efforts, this program became a reality. Trooper Vish along with John Prandy (deceased), and Robert Price (P.S.P. retired) were instrumental in establishing the first Camp Cadet in Butler County.

For forty-one years, his idea has provided the inspiration for the establishment of other Camp Cadet Programs across Pennsylvania. The program was originally called the “Pennsylvania State Police Camp Cadet” and funding was provided by the community to the Pennsylvania State Police. Since 1970, Camp Cadet programs have been established in approximately 30 other counties in Pennsylvania.

Camp Cadet is a tuition free one week event, staffed by local Pennsylvania State Police, Allegheny County Police, Allegheny County Sheriffs and local Municipal Police Officers who serve as counselors and instructors. The program is designed to give boys and girls, ages 12 thru 14, a better understanding of law enforcement activities while living in an atmosphere similar to a police training academy. Emphasis is placed on improving self-discipline, building self-esteem and confidence through teamwork and making new friends.

The camp is for any youth who resides in Allegheny County between the ages of 12 thru 14 and who is in good physical condition. It is NOT a camp for TROUBLED YOUTH! Sometimes we are mistaken for a boot camp. This camp is a mini version of a police academy. The day will consist of physical training (PT), followed by a morning run then the cadets will return to their quarters for personal hygiene and prepare of inspection. During the day various activities are scheduled including presentations by various agencies, a mock crime scene investigation, mock criminal trial and sporting activities.

Allegheny County Camp Cadet is a non-profit, charitable organization that is funded by contributions from the community. For this reason, there is no charge to attend. This will be Allegheny County’s 15th year and we are looking forward to providing the youth of Allegheny County an opportunity to challenge themselves in a positive environment and make new friends.

I believe that you will find this program beneficial to the youth and community. I have attached a copy of the schedule for camp to give you an idea of a typical day for a cadet during camp.

If you would like additional information on Allegheny County Camp Cadet, please visit our website at www.alleghenycountycampcadet.org or by phone contact Tpr. Melinda Bondarenka, Camp Director at (412) 299-1644. Thank you for taking the time to review this material and we hope you will consider being an investor in the future of our youth and community.


Tpr. Melinda Bondarenka, Director
Allegheny County Camp Cadet
PA State Police


Camp Cadet Leadership

Mike Spagnoletti – President
Robin Mungo – Vice President
Theresa Oto – Secretary
Cathy Bly – Treasure
State Trooper Melinda Bondarenka – Director
Deputy Sheriff Jason Tarap – Co-Director
Officer Bobbie Bertalan – Co-Director
Officer Jamie Cunningham – Kick Off Committee Chair
Shelley McClellan – Cruise for Cadets Committee Chair
Nicole Mahaffey
Andre LaVan
Carol Adams
Michelle Bonner
Deann Dupree
Kim Sweeney
Leo Rudzki
Mark Gouza
Kaitlyn Michelessi
Lakyn Holly
Terrance Whitehead
Corrin Culhane
Shawn Hudzinski

Camp Cadet Anthem – “We Are Allegheny County Camp Cadets”

Verse 1

We build self-esteem and discipline

New challenges, while making friends

At Camp Cadet, we build on dreams

Hard work and diligence

Builds Character and confidence

At Camp Cadet, we build on dreams

Chorus Re: 2 times

We are Camp Cadets, we’re proud Camp Cadets

We’re Allegheny County Camp Cadets

Verse 2

Teamwork, development

Our participants pay no expense

At Camp Cadet, we build on dreams

Self-esteem and discipline

Builds character and confidence

At Camp Cadet, we build on dreams

Chorus Re:

We are Camp Cadets, we’re proud Camp Cadets

We’re Allegheny County Camp Cadets