Direction, Discipline and Learning Camps

Anzac day today a holiday and a time to reflect. I did not think much of war and soldiers but I did think of the youth of today. In the past in the days of the big wars youth saw a chance to escape the monotony of life by joining up and fighting. Youth saw the advantage of wars to bring people together in comradeship. War certainly brings people together but it also splits people up. People die.

The youth of today need to have a similar comradeship that war gives but give it to them in peace. Soldiers have a common foe that makes them focus together. The youth today also need a common focus. We have many youth of today without direction they may be on the unemployment benefit.

My suggestion is that camps be set up that house and feed the single unemployed people. A bit like military camps but a lot different. Camps that have accommodation like military camps but my suggestion is that each unemployed person [I will call them clients now] has a room to themselves. Like the type of accommodation that Universities supply. So what I suggest is that the accommodation be like what the military provide and what universities provide. Maybe call these camps “Campus Boot Camps” [CB Camps]. Boot implying that there is discipline here and campus implying that there is learning here.

The youth of today need discipline but discipline done with compassion. Not as harsh as boot military camps. But give enough rope that the client can make adjustments to the discipline over time. Bad choices in the past either they were made by their parents or themselves takes time to change just as a person takes time to change bad habits. We want the clients to want to get out of their bad habits. Not control the clients but help the clients get control over their own lives in a wise way. The camps must have some aspects of spiritual input for the clients own good. The camps must not force on clients spiritual sustenance but to make it available. A chapel should be amongst the camp buildings and access to chaplains should be around the clock. We need Christian chaplains who are mature and wise and in to prayer.

The camp must provide food and accommodation. Each client having their own bedroom. Paid staff should be employed to service each camp. Paid kitchen staff and staff to teach and be wardens. Wardens in the sense like older paternal brothers and sisters who govern the clients. The wardens can keep discipline. Each lot of say 10 clients can have a warden to look after and over them. There must be a chaplain to no more than 20 clients. The chaplains must mix in with the clients during day to day activities. If there is any real big brother over the clients it will be the chaplains. The camp leader can be called the camp Director. One of the purposes of the camp is to give direction to the clients. The clients can look after the camp grounds planting making attractive gardens. The clients can keep the camp clean.

Having a good stable environment makes a place to learn. In such a place one can feel safe. Bullying must not be tolerated on any level. That is why the chaplains should be amongst the clients daily. The chaplains should report to the Director. With a safe and good environment the clients have the chance to mature spiritually. The wardens or teachers or both can teach the clients living skills. Employing wardens of an ex military past might help here. Teachers should be skilled teachers. This teaching is aimed at not teaching for the sake of what society wants but for the good of the clients. It is client first then what the world wants. It is not about feeding these clients in to a world that just uses and abuses them. We want to make each client feel special and that they want to learn because that is what they want to do. The teachers must realise that each client has a set ability. Low ability does not always mean dumb. Yes there are the clients that need spiritual development more than others to wake them up to learning. The chaplains will have a responsibility to help those clients that do not understand. Sometimes people just need to be loved and cared for to make them want to take direction. Clients coming from dysfunctional families do not know real love. The client seeing his father bash his mother for instance is a wrong message of what real love is about. Chaplains should act like mentors big brothers and sisters.

Once the clients settle in and see a non threatening environment they may want to learn. Take a dog say taken from a dog refuge. The dog will take time before it accepts the new master. But giving the dog food and accommodation helps the dog to settle in. Hey we all need food and shelter. Providing food and shelter to the clients in a non threatening safe environment will help the clients settle in. To listen one has to feel safe. Alot of youth are in dysfunctional families where violence is the rule. Youth are talking not listening they are using their words to fight. And their fists. Teaching classes should start say 11am and finish 12 noon. Lunch from 12.15pm to 1.15pm. Another class from 1.20pm to 2.20pm. Each class should go for no longer than one hour. There must be plenty of good rest breaks. The next class can be from 3pm to 4pm. So we have learning classes 3 hours a day 4 days a week. Monday to Thursday. Exercise must be encouraged to the clients. Outings in vans or buses to recreational client participating events like canoeing and hiking would be a good positive. Such activities should not be forced on clients. Attendance in classes though should be compulsory. One day a week say a Friday there should be camp work day. For 3 hours duration each client must carry out instructions from the wardens as to cleaning and gardening duties. This should also be compulsory for each client.

These camps will be first for the unemployed single youth. Because the camp is providing the food, accommodation and teaching the clients have to forfeit some of their unemployment benefit money. I think each client can keep just enough of their benefit to provide for their personal needs. There should be a little shop on campus to sell commodities like toothpaste, soap, tooth brushes, combs, clothes, sun hats, sunscreen, hair conditioner, insect repellent, small snacks, ice creams, drinks.

A smoke free zone. I hate cigarette smoking and any form of smoking I hate. To make the camps completely free smoking zones is a hard request. Any form of smoking substance like cigarettes should not be sold at the camp shops. A smoke zone where clients can smoke will have to be provided. A small building where clients can smoke should be provided. Clients should not smoke during class teaching times and not smoke during campus work hours [cleaning and gardening]. Smoking should be allowed in the one building and not any where else on the camp. Alcohol – another problem drink and a drink that youth are known to abuse. I would have to say that alcohol be forbidden anywhere on camp. Drinking alcohol outside camp can not be policed but no bringing alcohol in to camp from outside.

There should be a system of demerit points given out to clients when they do not obey the rules. When the client gets the most demerit points the client should be called before a warden’s panel to decide on the future of the client. Dismissal of the client from the camp maybe the last choice. Chaplains should also always be on any disciplinary panels. The Director of the camp will have the final say on all disciplinary matters. The client can if not satisfied with the panels decision appeal to the Government Department that oversees the camps. The Department if consulted should reply back with a decision no later than 3 weeks after receiving the appeal.

Teaching classes should not drop the clients directly in the deep end of learning. First the clients will be taught simple life skills. Such things like hygiene. Then basic English, vocabulary, arithmetic, spelling, writing English, world affairs, basic history.

Once the clients have a proper grasp on speaking English and writing it and on the other learning’s mentioned just above the clients may move to more advanced learning.

The client in their assessment by the teachers must involve themselves in the assessment process. It is the client here we are trying to help take wise control over their lives and to be in every part of the decision process of their development. No one is supposed to be forcing anyone to do something if they do not want to do it. But if the clients do not want to do classes and camp work then they should not be at the camp. No one is forcing any client to attend CB camp.

CB camp is primarily a camp set up to give youth direction, discipline and learning. Camps should be safe non threatening places where people from dysfunctional families can learn and foster confidence and discover their God given talents. The wise old sage saying “know thyself”. Clients need good role models. People of good repute like chaplains should be employed to foster good spiritual maturity amongst the clients.

If “Campus Boot Camps” is not a good name then maybe call them “DDL Camps”. “Direction, Discipline and Learning Camps”.


This learning I propose is simple knowledge. Such simple knowledge is for practical doing. We have a “Simple God” teaching us simple knowledge. A “Simple all knowing all powerful God”. All truth is simple. We must teach our youth that vocation lies within them vocation lies in our spirit. Truth is simple not complex. If we are in a complex vocation we are most probably in the wrong vocation. It is not healthy to be in the wrong vocation. Our hearts and bodies suffer in the wrong vocation. We must choose the vocation that settles with our human spirit. We must choose simple not complex in our choosing our vocation. Choosing simple is not necessary the easy way. It can be really hard going the simple way. The easy way is the way of the world the hard way is the way of heaven. We choose the narrow way not the wide easy way. To choose spirit over flesh is not always easy. True to go the way of the flesh can involve lots of problems. Spirit is the wiser way and is for eternity that is if one lives in obedience to God. Flesh without spirit is dead. We are a spirit and a soul inside flesh. Spirit is person.

These camps will be mainly for single people and mainly single youth. Married persons will be able to come to camp but they will not be able to bring their families. Shorter times of stay for married persons should be made available.

Kind regards; Lester John Murray.


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