Church's Boot Camp Teaches Kids Discipline
By Melissa Maynarich, NEWS 9
SPENCER, Oklahoma -- A local church is calling attention to kids to help them learn discipline. The boot-camp style course is changing the way the children deal with authority.
As the soldiers in training get in step with each other, they're also learning to get in step with authority. The dos and don'ts of respecting superiors is the first lesson learned at True Vine Boot Camp.
"Day one was a little hard for me because I had to get used to saying ‘Yes sir. No sir. Yes ma'am.' Standing up, waking up early, and then have to come out here every morning doing pushups for everybody's mistakes," said 17-year-old Jeremiah Boyce.
True Vine Baptist Church runs the boot camp, to teach children who may be having trouble with following rules, about discipline. Some of the kids are just 5-years-old.
"We take them very young, and a lot of them don't have this kind of authority in their homes. This is the first time a lot of them, most of them have every had anybody in their faces," said Reverend Floyd Wilson, the True Vine Commander in Chief.
Oklahoma Highway Patrol Troopers are a strong force in the program. Exposing minors to tactical equipment is an educational opportunity for law enforcement officials to teach young children about fighting crime.
"Most of the time, when the kids see us, and we see them, it's usually in a negative fashion. This gives them a chance to get to know us and figure out what we're all about. Not all police officers are bad guys," said Oklahoma Highway Patrol Capt. Paul Timmons.
The boot camp's been running 12 years, more than a decade of strategic military style teaching, and the kids say it works.
"It's a good experience. You have to have a lot of discipline to get through. But if you just listen, then it will be smooth sailing," said 16-year-old Mariah Goff.
And it's not all just pushups and marching, the kids also attend a bible study at the boot camp.