Silver-spooned “lost” boys

Retreat aims at young men’s ‘failure to launch’. Camp help for ‘lost boys’, Yahoo. (Hook, anyone?)

The title of this Yahoo fluff piece misled me.  When I hear “lost boys”, I think of something different entirely.  In general, I associate “lost boys” with orphans and runaways.  So, from the title, I’m expecting this article to be about some kindly nonprofit halfway house that helps orphans, runaways, and other kids from the streets overcome such problems as gangs, drugs, and starvation, and teach these kids skills to be able to obtain work legally, and get on their feet.  Instead, well, tell me what you think?  Is it valid? is it some scam for money? is it just more coddling for kids who have already been too coddled?  Are these kids’ laziness reflective of a society that has no jobs and no place for them, a deep-seeded resignation of ennui-ridden “why bother” fatalism?  or is it just good old-fashioned laziness, exacerbated by a silver-spoon lifestyle and distant 1%-er parents?

My mom’s response to this “article”, as well as a lot of the online commenters (commentators?), was boot camp and/or military school.  I would tend to agree, except that the military doesn’t take just anybody.  You have to pass rigorous physical qualifications, including having military weight and great vision.  But, before that, you have to have never taken certain drugs which are automatic disqualifiers.  These include mood/anxiety drugs, such as Zoloft, Prozac, Ritalin, and other ADD/ADHD medication.  In today’s world of overclinicalization, I would venture to guess most, if not a great deal, of people (at least my generation) have, at one time or another, been on these drugs.  And certainly a large percentage of the “bad” kids, with behavioral disorders, who have real trouble getting through high school. i.e. the very kinds of kids who might need boot camp to begin with.

But this camp isn’t for these kids.  Once you read a little into it, you realize that this camp, set in the mountains of Colorado and priced at $350 a day, does not actually accept kids with real problems, such as violence, a criminal record, substance abuse, or psychological or behavioral disorders.  hmm… So they want to help lost boys, but only rich lost boys who don’t have any major problems.

And they help them by assigning them the rigorous responsibility-laden task of getting out of bed…but only if they feel like it.

As a side note, one commenter/commentator (Magilla) remarked the following:

Maturity is learned in these steps:
Take NO for an answer.
Welcome Instruction.
Welcome Critisism.
Take Responsibility for actions and life.
Put Others First, a rare feat for any of us.

I think that’s quite pithy, actually.  as well as chronological.  As good a definition of maturity as I’ve heard.

Not being a parent myself, I certainly have no say when it comes to how to raise or motivate kids.  Having been a teenager as well, I can only empathize for the holy hell parents/caregivers may inevitably endure.  But whatever the solution, I don’t think this is it.

On the other hand, if someone’s willing to foot the bill for me to camp out in a retreat in the mountains of Colorado, I’m willing to undergo the arduous task of not working, playing video games, and getting inebriated, for as long as it takes.  I know it’ll be tough, but, for a room with a view, massages, and mountain air, I can muster up some authentic complaints about my folks and the sense of disconnection and displacement I feel, stifling under the burden of their wealth and expectations.  I can complain real good about how I’d rather make a living playing guitar than inheriting a corporate job others would kill just to pretend they have a chance at, while they flip burgers or go to community college or whatever it is those people do.  It’s hard work, but someone’s got to not go do it.


One Response to “Silver-spooned “lost” boys”

  1. Nowadays, as teenagers, I think that it is much harder for us to actually feel satisfied with things that happen, or are going to happen because we now know that things can and will change.

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