Camping for character

In the U.K., there’s a scheme afoot to ship every child off for a week of character-building summer camp at the age of 11 or possibly 14.

Ministers believe the move could fire enthusiasm for school and build youngsters confidence.

Parents in the US traditionally pack off youngsters each summer for character-building activities at camp.

Really? I suspect only a minority of American kids go off to camp, and most would stay home if they thought character building was involved.

Natalie Solent doubts this will save British youth.

A pilot scheme was successful and so they are all convinced that a burst of wholesome exercise and outdoor living will send the young lads and lasses home flushed and happy for some reason other than the usual Ecstasy tablet / successful shoplifting expedition / fornication.

So we’re back to ten mile runs and outdoor living, eh? What’s the betting that next year’s miracle cure is the long-neglected educational virtue of cold showers.

These poor deluded innocents never seem to figure out that experimental pilot schemes frequently succeed because they are pilot schemes; i.e. new and not offered to everybody.


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  1. I do not think the “camping trips” the Army sent me on built my character.

  2. This is a case of people in foreign countries believing what they see in movies. They’ve seen too many camp movies.

  3. PJ/Maryland says:

    Linden, I would argue that anyone who has seen a camp movie has seen too many camp movies…

    From the article, it sounds like the Scottish government (?) is talking about having government-run summer camps. This inevitably means that some kids will be sent to rotten camps, while those with better-connected parents will go to good camps.

    Over time, we can expect a movement to develop for special charter camps with fewer regulations, or even demands for camp vouchers so Scottish kids can choose their own camp.