21 Jun Meet Aiden
Be prepared to be moved in Aiden’s written testament, addressed to all of the parents and kids considering taking part in our camp as well as to our Veteran Mentors who played a significant role in his transformation.
To Parents and Kids
“The JLP programs that I have attended have been the best times of my life. The camp provided me with the tools to become the truest and best version of myself whilst also keeping me active, well-disciplined and involved in really fun activities with real friends – not some fake friends over the phone.
The camp provides the best food EVER, in-depth lessons on topics like drugs, food and health, keeping physically active, discipline, depression and anxiety and how to cope and control it, the good and bad of social media and mobile phones, the list goes on.
I personally like the lessons, simply because it gives time to rest and recover from all the physical activity and drills you do, and because it requires little to no writing at all (I hate writing!). They are also quite fun if you participate confidently.
The sports side of things is where things get interesting. The discipline that you learn from waking up early and participating in the fun but practical activities without complaining is something that I never thought I would be able to do, let alone enjoy.
The staff at the camps are absolutely amazing. They may seem very mean or cruel and hypocritical in the beginning, but they almost become your best friend once you earn their respect. They are very understanding of people with difficulties and have numerous ways of dealing with and helping with the troubles of my generation. I can’t forget the fact that they are really funny, like I’ve never met people who blast music and dance around together whilst also doing their jobs and making sure we don’t step out of line, it’s actually really funny.
From my personal experience, the JLP camps are more than fun and more than helpful. It’s a safe space to be yourself, talk about who you are without any judgement, a place to make real friends and actually bond without needing a phone, vape, drugs or whatever you use to relate to people. I started my first camp as a disrespectful, violent and narcissistic person. On the second last camp, I didn’t go a day without getting into trouble and not a day went by without me lying, but in this most recent camp, I feel completely different. In fact, I know that I am completely different from the narcissistic and manipulative person I used to be. I just got the ‘Most Improved Student Award’, which I NEVER thought I would ever earn.
So please, for the love of whomever you believe in, trust the process, it may be slow at the start, but if you have it in your heart that you want to change, you will, I promise you that without a single doubt in my mind.
Trust me, I know from my own experience.”
To the Mentors
“I absolutely loved this recent camp. I feel that sharing our stories at the beginning of the camp is a great way to learn about each other earlier, connect and find things in each other earlier on that we can relate to.
Also, THANK YOU so much for the award and for everything you have done. It really means a lot that you leave your families and lives behind all just to help a bunch of troubled kids that do your heads in. A big thank you to the Mentors for allowing me to get up in front of the platoon and share my story. It was not easy for me to have everyone watch me open up and become vulnerable.
Hearing myself speak up and talk about some of my darkest times is helping me accept and work towards healing. I can only hope that some of the other students have benefited from the story I told. If there is any possibility that I could share my story again at future camps, I would be delighted and honoured as it was a memorable and therapeutic experience.
Thank you all so so much, Aiden.”
If you’re dealing with the same troubled teenager that Aiden felt he once was, perhaps this is the story to print off and share with your kids.
It might just help them to realise they’d like to make a positive change in their own life too.