Potential police recruits have been put through their paces as part of bid to help boost confidence and skill levels among school children.
Year 7 and 8 students from across the region joined police and volunteers at a Blue Light Alternative Strategies for Teenagers (BLAST) camp at Lake Rotoiti.
Blenheim senior constable Russ Smith says the camps are “carefully crafted” to encourage constructive fun.
“The programmed activities are designed to challenge youths to work beyond their comfort zones, understand the benefits of team-work, to become more confident and to demonstrate leadership skills,” he says.
Camps have been held in Marlborough since 2003 and have even inspired one past participant to join the police force.
“A number of grown-up participants have expressed how fondly they remember their camp experiences, how it positively changed their view of and relationship with police.
“One of our serving Blenheim Police members remembers their positive experiences at a Marlborough Blue Light camp, so who knows how many potential Police recruits have been inspired,” senior constable Smith says.
The small committee is made up of both Police members and members of the public with an interest in providing youth services for Marlborough.
Fees are deliberately low and heavily subsidised with just a $20 registration fee to pay.
The Pelorus Trust granted funding for most of this year’s camp, says senior constable Smith.
From being shot into the air via a harness for the ‘Flying Kiwi’ event to building their own set of wings and diving into Lake Rotoiti, students faced two days of challenges earlier this month.
The fun events are geared to challenge, senior constable Smith says.
“Some key learning took place almost immediately, with the whole group taking part in ‘chunking’
This is a set of separate dance moves taught over the course of the camp to teach the participants that big challenges can be managed if they are broken into smaller chunks.
“This group were dance-move experts by the end of the camp.
“At the end of the camp, a bunch of tired but happy youths summarised the things they loved about the camp, the things they learned, things that scared them and expressed how much fun they had.”