IT was tough going for a group of youths who took part in a three-day army-style camp on Stonecutters Island. The training camps were organised by the Hong Kong Chinese soldiers of the Hong Kong Military Service Corps. More than 50 youngsters, aged 14 to 21, from the Caritas Children and Youth Centre at Cheung On Estate and the Holy Carpenter Church Community Centre in Hung Hom took part in the camps. Activities included map-reading, orienteering, shooting and rock-climbing. According to Yuen Chi-leung, Warrant Officer Class 1 (Regimental Sergeant Major), the training was not nearly as difficult as the tough tests actual soldiers undergo. Just as well! Wong Lai-fan, 14, said even the toned down training was far too demanding. 'It's so hard! I never thought soldiers had to train so hard. There is no air-conditioning and we have mosquito bites all over our bodies,' said Lai-fan, who will be a Form Three student in September. 'Also, it's a long walk from the camp to the canteen. Walking all that way in this hot weather can be really exhausting.' Despite the tough training, Lai-fan managed to make a lot of friends. 'You meet different people and learn to get along with each other.' Ho Mo-yeung, a 20-year-old student, told Young Post that he joined the camp because the island was forbidden territory. 'It seemed like a real challenge,' said Mo-yeung, adding that the $70 registration fee for the camp was very reasonable. The camps were organised to give young people some healthy outdoor activities to take part in during the long summer vacation, according to Sergeant Major Yuen. 'We also wanted to help them build up confidence and develop the spirit of co-operation,' he said. 'It's not our intention to turn them into be 'soldiers'. We just want to emphasise discipline. The training is quite basic.' The camps, started about 10 years ago, came under the Hong Kong Military Service Corps in 1990. They are held three times a year.