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Blue star lads

Monday, 19th August, 2019

(From left) Michael Cutmore-Stokes, Lachlan McIntosh and Rhys Faithfull have all just completed the first part of a PCYC youth development and leadership program. PICTURE: Callum Marshall (From left) Michael Cutmore-Stokes, Lachlan McIntosh and Rhys Faithfull have all just completed the first part of a PCYC youth development and leadership program. PICTURE: Callum Marshall

By Callum Marshall

The value of a PCYC program designed to pass on life skills for kids has been highlighted by three boys at the local PCYC.

Called ‘The Blue Star Citizenship’, the boys have just completed the first part of the program which has seen them develop skills that will serve them well in the future.

Broken Hill PCYC Manager Heather Smith said the boys had already accomplished a lot during the first part of the program, which has two components.

“The first is the ‘Citizenship’ program which the boys have just finished, and then once they’ve graduated from that they can go into the ‘Leadership’ one.

“The Citizenship is composed of two camps over the last two school holidays where the boys did a number of things including rock climbing, abseiling and a whole pile of those physical and problem solving skills.

“But they also had to do components including their first-aid certificate (and) a Certificate 2 in Volunteering.”

Ms Smith said the PCYC had incorporated the boys’ trip away for the Blue Star Citizenship into their own ‘Vision’ program which helps provide a vision as to where early school-leavers and those disengaged from school want to go in life.  

“It’s been a long time since Broken Hill’s sent anyway for either of these programs and we’re really proud to have incorporated it into our Vision program.

“One of the reasons we incorporated it into our Vision program was because it does give the kids some skills they probably wouldn’t normally get. 

“They had to learn how to do risk assessments, conduct a program. (Now) they need to actually run programs of their own, so it’s giving them skills.”

She said the PCYC was now encouraging the boys to start running an archery course.

“As part of the Vision program we encourage the kids to get involved in coaching and the boys were lucky enough to do their archery coach’s course on the way through to the program.”

Ms Smith said January would be when the boys start the ‘Leadership’ component that includes three trips throughout the year.

“The major component of that is the Duke of Edinburgh award, and obviously all this stuff looks really good when they’re putting resumes together.”

Following their success, Ms Smith said more children at the PCYC were now interested in taking part next year. 

“As part of the Vision Program, our next oldest group of kids will be going away for the Citizenship camps next year.

“They have opened the door and the interest is building with it.”

Getting further involved with the PCYC was one of the reasons one of the boys, Lachlan McIntosh, decided to take part in it.

“I like being with the PCYC and this gets you more involved with it,” he said.

And alongside enjoying archery, getting kids to come into the PCYC and do something productive was why he wanted to coach archery.

“I like archery and I want to get other kids out of strife so they’ve got something to do.”

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