Ben was born in Invercargill and is aged 15.  He is currently in Year 10 at Wakatipu High School and he is studying English, Maths, Science, Maori studies, Hard Technology and Digital Technology.  
During his interview to attend ‘Life Skills’, Ben struggled to make eye contact, was quite shy and didn't really know what he wanted to do when he left school, but vaguely spoke about being a Pilot.  Now Ben presents as a completely different person.  He's a much more confident young man with clear goals to be an Aviation Engineer or Pilot, and is keen to get his Pilot’s Licence asap.  Outside of school he plays football, and is in Cadets.  It is evident that attending this camp has had a significant impact on Ben with a big attitude shift, a new appreciation for self-discipline and being a team player and the responsibility and respect for others that comes with this.  
Each day Ben practices the drills he learnt and exercises every day.  It took a day or so for the major adjustment to what he was doing to sink in but he is glad he stuck at it and graduated. 
Ben was the first of the 4 students selected to head off to the Bluelight Life Skills Camp at Burnham in September.  A second student, Mason Bonn, has just returned last Friday but unfortunately couldn't attend the meeting last night, but wrote us a letter of thanks for the opportunity which was read out to the members.  There are another 2 students lined up to go at the end of October.  The cost for this camp is just $500pp with the students' families paying for the flights.
The Bluelight Life Skills Camp has been running for many years but is a new youth initiative for our club.  Last year the Board agreed that it is important to provide opportunities for students who might not usually put themselves forward.  The Life Skills Program is 2 tiered, designed for young people who are considering a career in the Armed Forces or the Police as well as for young people who may have behavioural or attitude problems but show potential.  ‘Life Skills’ helps participants to improve and focus on their attitude, gain self-confidence and respect for themselves and others, and teaches how to positively align their future social and career pathways.  For any Youth Programme that can do this, it is money well spent.