NEW PHILADELPHIA -- Parents of youngsters know best that a good babysitter is priceless and the most "in-demand" babysitters are those with the best skills.

Now the local youth have a new and exciting opportunity to become the best babysitters possible with the Red Cross Babysitter Boot Camp. This program is designed for boys and girls between 11-15 years of age and is designed to develop leadership and decision-making skills, as well as training in First Aid, CPR and Safety skills.

Babysitter Boot Camp will be offered over two full days, July 4 -5, 22-23, or 28-29 and also Aug. 5-6 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. the first day and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. the second day. The boot camp consists of the popular babysitter's training class on the first day along with an optional standard First Aid and CPR -- child and infant on the second day.

The Red Cross Babysitting Boot Camp teaches participants:

* Standard CPR and First Aid: Every babysitter needs to know what to do if an accident happens. Get straight-forward advice on how to manage everything from scrapes and bruises to life-threatening emergencies.

* Leadership: How do you have fun with the kids -- but stay in control? Find out the best ways to negotiate, settle arguments, and encourage positive behavior.

* Basic Care: Feeding and diaper changing can be kind of messy. Learn how to handle these situations, and other babysitting basics, like a pro!

* STOP! Think Safety: Learn how to find a safety-related problem, remove or limit it, then report it.

* Safety and Safe Play: Recognize how to guide children in safe play. Learn to choose toys and activities that are age-appropriate and safe.

"There's so much involved in babysitting young children. It's nice to know children want to take on the responsibilities to do the job right," said Heath and Safety Director Debbie Swegheimer.

The Muskingum Lakes Chapter is dedicated to informing the community on what to do during times of emergency. This special course is dedicated to what the youth need to know and what every parent wants in a responsible babysitter.

To register for an upcoming course or to schedule group training on the program, contact the chapter at (330) 343-8633 or e-mail info@mlcredcross.org.