BOOTCAMP CHANGES ATTITUDE
Change of attitude after holiday trip
A TEENAGER who admits she lacked respect for her parents says her attitude was turned around by a school holiday trip she will never forget.
Parrearra’s Leilani Diaz said she tried to run away when she realised a Gold Coast “holiday” was actually a nine-day military-style bootcamp in a remote hinterland location.
“The thought of meeting new people and having to listen to them and do what they said scared me,” the 14-year-old said.
“It has gotten a lot better through the days. It helps that everyone was in a similar situation – we formed bonds really quickly.”
Leilani said when she returned home, she would be focused on being more respectful towards her parents.
“I want to continue to work on my respect,” she said. “Even though I have improved quite a lot I still want to keep working on it. I hope that what I’ve learned will stay with me.
“I’m realising how much my parents do for me.”
The intensive bootcamp program was founded by Veteran Mentors, a group of ex-servicemen and women using their combat experience and military training to help children gripped by technology addiction, bullying and low self-esteem.
Afghanistan veteran and Veteran Mentors director Glenn Filtness said the team had a passion for motivating young people like Leilani to better themselves.
“We are determined to help kids become accountable for their behaviour and decisions,” he said.
“After much discussion we realised the best way for us to pass on the knowledge and experience we had developed in the military was to run a program that could support a wide range of children.”
Mr Filtness said the program could also help young people who were anxious and concerned about where they were heading in the future.
“We set these young people challenges that they must get through together as a team, just like we do in the military environment,” he said.
The next program will be held December 15-23.
LIFE CHANGING: Veteran mentor Troy Methorst with Sunshine Coast teenager Leilani Diaz during a nine-day bootcamp in the Gold Coast hinterland.