In a column in The Daily Telegraph, London’s Mayor Boris Johnson has an off-beat idea for how to channel the anger caused by the financial crisis and overcome its destructive consequences.
His prescription: more camping.
A self-professed avid camper who says he’s pitched tents across Britain, Europe, North America and Africa, Johnson extols the social benefits of increased youth participation in organised camping with groups like the Scouts.
The problem is that in London, there is a waiting list 8,000 names long to join organised youth outdoor’s groups. Johnson’s solutions is a call on a seemingly unlikely ally:
The Occupy movement is perfectly placed. They know a thing or two about how to pitch a camp in the unlikeliest of places. They are masters of the arts of foraging. They could show young people reef knots and brew-ups and how to cover your tracks and build a wigwam in record time. They would make perfect leaders for the uniformed youth movements…and I believe they would find it genuinely rewarding.
…In working with young people, and teaching them to camp, the Occupy movement could do something huge and practical and lasting to tackle inequality: to steer them away from crime and towards employment.