MAAMARONECK, N.Y. -- On the last day of camp, Jack Walsh not only watched the Village of Mamaroneck Police Department's K-9 Officer Neal demonstrate how he helps fight crime, but participated in a demonstration before the Day Camp's noon dismissal.
Walsh, a kindergartener at Mamaroneck Avenue Elementary School, rubbed his scent on a fake gun and hid it, which Officer Frank Maresca then had Neal sniff out.
"Ninety percent of everything Neal does he uses his nose," said Maresca, who demonstrated Neal's abilities through the agility course, obedience, criminal apprehension and the evidence search.
Walsh said he had fun doing it, but couldn't touch the viciously friendly K-9 because of his allergies. After the demonstration, Maresca invited the kids to pet Neal, which prompted a swarm around the playful pup, who didn't seem to mind. Walsh couldn't resist joining in, and wound up touching him with the tip of one finger.
"This was the best summer ever, and that's no lie," said Rosanne Saracino, superintendent of Recreation. "We did everything and went everywhere."
This year's summer day camp, held in front of the Recreation Department in Harbor Island, had 209 day campers and 44 staff members, Saracino said. While campers had the Harbor Island beach a few feet away, Lillian Schwab's favorite activity was going to the pool. Schwab will begin first grade in September, but didn't want to let go of her counselor Damiana Carolini.
"I loved it," said Carolini, who was a counselor in training (CIT) last summer and will enter her junior year at Rye Neck High School. "I had a great experience being a counselor this year."
After the hour-long demonstration, which ran from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m., children awaited their final dismissal, while others dreaded it.
"I'm going to miss everyone," said Katie Nordman, kindergarten counselor.