Over the past thirty years, organisations like Outward Bound have become an established feature in the training of young people. They have increased in number and widened the range of activities offered. They have attracted rhapsodic support as well as the most bitter criticism. What they have not had before is a cool, dispassionate examination by some team qualified to carry one out. There is no shortage of writing on the subject but this has been produced by the organisers and supporters of the system, often describing the joys of discovering the outdoor life and making a mass of assumptions on their therapeutic benefits. Recently an investigation in depth has been carried out on these institutions by a team of research workers drawn from the staff of the Department of Sociology, Liverpool University. The result of their labours has been published as a book entitled The Character‐Training Industry. The authors are Roberts, White and Parker; the publisher of the book is David and Charles Ltd; it is subtitled Adventure Training Schemes in Britain; the ISB Number is 0 7153 6394 8 and the price £3·50. We are impressed by this study and the competent way it was carried out. We believe that all training officers in charge of young people would benefit greatly by reading it. John Wellens read it; here are his reactions to it.
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