Summer camp

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The Independent Online

The search to emulate all things American goes on. And, as any reader of Peanuts knows, there is nothing more American than summer camp - the bus out of town, the first nights in the dorm, the cards back home. So now New Labour is taking it up with enthusiasm as an idea to develop here. Tessa Jowell, the Culture Secretary, wants them as "an important learning process" with lots of "empowering activities". David Miliband, the minister for School Standards, says they would tackle the "problem of bored teenagers". We say: fine idea. But stop lecturing kids on what is good for them, and listen to what they want.

The search to emulate all things American goes on. And, as any reader of Peanuts knows, there is nothing more American than summer camp - the bus out of town, the first nights in the dorm, the cards back home. So now New Labour is taking it up with enthusiasm as an idea to develop here. Tessa Jowell, the Culture Secretary, wants them as "an important learning process" with lots of "empowering activities". David Miliband, the minister for School Standards, says they would tackle the "problem of bored teenagers". We say: fine idea. But stop lecturing kids on what is good for them, and listen to what they want.

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