This story about troubled teens being exposed to nature reminds me that while there was a lot to dislike about Franklin D Roosevelt’s New Deal, the Civilian Conservation Corps got lots of young people out into the natural world doing work. And so the Civilian Conservation Corps is something I would like to see revived. Appreciation for natural beauty is a feature of affluent culture, but it is not so much part of ghetto and barrio cultures. They, however, being human beings, have the capacity for appreciating beauty, natural and otherwise. A Civilian Conservation Corps would expose un-affluent young people to both the beauty of nature and the virtue of steady work, both of which would be very good for them. And, while I admire the military in many ways for its inclusiveness, I would be glad to see another option for these young people.
Related: “At-risk teens, young adults learn life skills from nature” by Patricia Leigh Brown, at California Watch