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South Korea students toughen up, marine style

posted Jan 3, 2013, 8:05 AM by Mpelembe   [ updated Jan 3, 2013, 8:06 AM ]

South Korean students brave the freezing cold and snow to get disciplined in a marine style boot camp.

ANSANSOUTH KOREA (JANUARY 3, 2013) (REUTERS) -  Forty South Korean students braved sub-zero temperatures and icy snow to take part in a marine-style boot camp on Thursday (December 3) in Ansan, about 66 km (41 miles) southeast of Seoul.

Organisers said the training camp was to develop students' toughness and perseverance, by lugging tyres and wooden logs while shouting on a field covered in snow.

Many were signed up by their parents in the hopes of instilling discipline and mental strength in their children.

The training programme consists of either a five-day or 14-day schedule, lasting up to nine hours each day.

During the boot camp, one student promised to be more obedient to her parents.

"I was not behaving whenever my parents were not watching me. From now on, I promise that I will behave even though they're not watching me. And I will concentrate on my studies that I have to do without getting distracted and will be obedient to my parents," 17-year-old student Kim Seo-hee said.

Trainers said the training focuses on character building.

"It instills self-confidence in students who lack it. Also, we train them in order to correct their mentality. These days, many students have grown up without having much difficulties, and therefore, some are not mature enough. So, we are focusing on the character education as well during the training," trainer Park Tae-jin said.

Another student said he had a change of heart after going through the boot camp.

"At first, I was really mad with my parents who sent me here and got me trained in this cold weather. But now I know that they did it because they love me," said 14-year-old student Lee Min-heok.

The training includes activities such as rappelling, basic physical exercises and team events under the close watch of trainers from the private military camp.

The camp called Chungryong, said they have received about 100,000 students since 1997 and about 200 students have registered to join the boot camp this winter.