Pātea teenager Fern Wilson (17) was awarded an overall merit award at the recent Blue Light Life Skills Camp.

The camp was at the Blue Light Youth Camp in Wairākei, Taupō from November 25-29.

Fern beat a strong group of young people from the North Island to take the prize on the week-long residential course.

The Blue Light life skills co-ordinator Powhiri Bidois says Fern was presented the overall merit award as camp staff felt that she "had significant and consistent improvement in attitude, self-discipline, self-confidence, participation and teamwork and was always respectful to staff and fellow course members".

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The award was presented to Fern by former Constable Donna Aitchison who was the reviewing officer at the camp.

The Life Skills Camp is run by New Zealand Blue Light in partnership with the NZ Police and NZ Defense Force.

The programme provides 14 to 17-year-olds with a residential-based course delivering quality life-skills and leadership training.

The programme specialises in building self-respect, respect for others, working within boundaries, self-care, teamwork and problem solving. Up to 12 courses are held each year in Auckland, central North Island and Burnham.

Blue Light has a strong vision of Empowering Youth. All Blue Light programmes and activities are designed to reduce the incidence of young people being an offender or victim of crime and to encourage better relations between young people, their parents, the police and communities they live in.

Blue Light is supported by corporate sponsorship of the Lion Foundation and other community supporters.

■ For more information about the Blue Light Life Skills Camps visit www.bluelight.co.nz