26 Mar What kind of change is possible
At Veteran Mentors, we’ve been running our camps since 2017. In this time, we have modified and adapted our program to create a camp that yields incredible outcomes.
Our Junior Leader Program aims to educate participants on the value of respect and the importance of making goals and mustering the courage to achieve them.
We also tap into our learnings from serving in the Australian Defence Force (ADF) and pass on our skills and values to help the next generation forge successful life paths. Through rigorous army-style training, recreational activities and open discussions, participants find that the Junior Leader Program is a life-changing experience.
Read, first hand, a reflection of the program as told by one of our recent participants and find out what kind of change is possible at Veteran Mentors.
“Dear Veteran Mentors,
I would like to thank you all so much for the opportunity to attend your camp and the opportunities that the camp has now opened my eyes to.
I cannot appreciate enough the work you all put in and the respect I have for the work you are doing. I look up to all of you and strive to live a life guided by the Values and discipline you have taught and showed me during the camp.
After the camp, I believe I am much more confident in myself that I can run, jump, climb and crawl for lengths but also, I am so confident in my mental capabilities. I can overcome the part of my brain that wants me to stay sad and only focus on what I don’t have, that wants me to give up. I can look around and think about what I do have, and every time I have done so, I always end up having more than I don’t. I have gained skills from the camp, skills during lessons, and skills that I picked up along the way by having heartfelt conversations with mentors and peers. I have learned some of the most valuable skills and am now trying to improve on my resilience and developing strong self-discipline because there isn’t going to be someone banging down my door every morning. I also realise how easy it is for me to have a lasting negative or positive effect on someone’s day.
After the few weeks I have been away from the camp, I feel more productive than ever and making my bed has been the start of every day. My anxiety about social situations and challenges has reduced immensely. Because I say to myself, “I JUMPED OUT OF A PLANE! I can do anything!”
I am proud of the person I am becoming. In all honesty, before the camp, I only thought about myself. I felt empathy for others, but I would never do or say anything to help them change the situation. During the camp, we are encouraged to. We are a team, and if one of us falls, we all fall, and we need to lift each other up. If you have extra strength, you give it to the person who doesn’t. I now do this automatically. If I have something that someone else needs now, it is also theirs. If I see someone in pain and struggling, I will not sit back.
I am not nearly as judgemental as I was before the camp. Hearing the people in my section share their stories and hearing the mentors’ stories was eye-opening. I realised how much everyone is going through and has gone through and the lasting effects of their experiences. I have no right to judge anyone for their mental or physical state and ability. I can and will only lift them up and treat them with complete respect.
Again I am so grateful for this opportunity and the amazing effort you all put into us. I truly admire all of you so much.”
The Junior Leader Program is not only designed to support children struggling with self-esteem or poor behaviours. Our camps are beneficial for any kids looking to take on their next challenge.
Equip your child with the essential life skills to tackle future challenges. Find out more about our Junior Leader Program and how it might be the life-changing experience your child needs.