A former student of Lad-led training camp has described the experience as ‘terrifying’ and a ‘life saver’ for her family.
Courtesy: Lad Training Centre website Laura Smith, a former Lad who attended the camp in 2012, told the ABC her family had experienced the ‘worst possible outcome’ when she left.
“It’s not easy to leave when you’re on a programme, but for a lot of people, it’s not possible.
It was terrifying.”
I remember going to the kitchen for dinner and I didn’t know what was going on, and I’m thinking, ‘Is that a Lad?”‘
Dinner with a Lad’ Laura Smith says Lad training ‘a life saver for my family’ After attending the camp, Ms Smith says her mother had nightmares about her when she woke up.”
When she did, she would go into her bedroom and she would get up and she’d go to the table, and she wouldn’t go to sleep.
“And my mum would go ‘oh my god, are you alright, I’m just in such a bad place’.”
She would say ‘that’s because of me’.
“It just didn’t make sense to me.
I didn and I went to my GP and I just said ‘what did you do?’ and he said ‘well I don’t know’.”
So that was a really tough time for my mum.”‘
They’re not your normal people’ Lad training program Ms Smith had spent a lot time in the Lad training camps in Australia, including one with a female leader, but has only ever met one man in her life.”
She was a very quiet girl and I think that was because she was raised in a different culture, a different upbringing.
“You know, it was quite normal, she was just a normal kid, a normal teenager.”
But then you meet a Lad and it’s like, oh my God, she’s not normal, that’s how hard it is.
“They’re very, very kind, and they’re very supportive and they really listen to you.”
In a way, that helped me cope.
“So, yeah, it wasn’t really the right environment, it didn’t work for me, and when I was in there, I was just like, ‘what the hell am I doing here?'”
Learning to love Lad culture ‘I’m not a bad person, I just like Lad culture’Ms Smith says that during her time in Lad training, she met people from different cultures.
“Some of them, they’re really nice, but they’re not like your average Lad.”
For example, one time, we were in a cabin with a guy and he’s an Australian, and the guy was a Lad.
They had a really long conversation and I was really, really enjoying it and I’d never had that before.
“One time I was on the train and I heard the guy say something like ‘oh yeah, I’ve been in Lad for 20 years now’.”
I was like, I know, he’s been there for 20.
I’m not the type of person to say, ‘oh, yeah.
I know I’m a Lad’.
“They were kind of like, yeah I know you are, but it’s a different life.
They’re just not your typical people.”
Being a Lad means you can be yourself and be yourself, and you can take care of yourself.”‘
A very different culture’ for women Laura Smith is one of the only women in her family to have met a Lad but admits she was nervous about meeting a new one.”
To be honest, I think I was nervous,” she said.”
My mum is a very big supporter of Lad culture, so I just knew that I was going to be a bit nervous and it would be a new experience for me.
“After talking to my mum, I had to go through the whole process, but I felt really good, because I had a good time and I had some good people with me.
It was really good for me.”‘
Dieting is just like a tool’ Ms Smith has described Lad dieting as ‘like a tool’.
“You have to look after your body and you have to get the nutrients you need to sustain yourself.”
If you do that you can live long, healthy lives.”‘
I’m a good person, but no Lad’ The Lad program Ms the former Lad said the camp was ‘very supportive’ of her family, including her mother.”
There were some really good people, and there was a lot more understanding, a lot less anger,” she says.”
At one point my mum said to me ‘it’s OK, we’re all going to have to be like that, it might take a bit of time but it’ll be worth it’.
“And I said, ‘thank you very much, but you can’t be like me’.”‘
I didn’t like being the only person