Opinion by Tony Orman
It’s difficult to understand the inward looking attitude of Police Minister Ginny Anderson to youth training camps. The title “boot camps” that she negatively uses is derogatory and distorts the intention and what they should be.
I’m of dinosaur age and did 18 year old compulsory military training in 1950s. Initially reluctant on entering, I soon realised and observed this was great for youngsters, dissolving arrogance in some entrants but importantly for all, developing skills and building self esteem and respect for others.
Okay diminish the military aspect today but run it on lines of Outward Bound’s outdoors training, teaching outdoor and survival skills, developing skills from carpentry and mechanics to gardening etc., and especially doing community work for needy older or disabled folk.
Many of today’s youth need help. Indeed there’s a solid case to have an Outward Bound styled youth training compulsory for male and female youngsters.
Dumbing down discussion for political expediency reasons will not help troubled youth.
Footnote: This was published in a letter to “The Post” (Wellington’s former “Dominion”) under the banner of the Council of Outdoor Recreation Associations.