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Top work . . . Jacob Pledger receives an award from Inspector Paul Reeves at the Blue Light Life Skills Camp at the Burnham Defence Base recently. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

A North Otago teenager claimed a significant award at a recent Blue Light camp.

Jacob Pledger (17) won the overall excellence award at the Blue Light Life Skills Camp at the Burnham Defence Base.

The Waitaki Boys’ High School year 12 pupil was top of a “strong group” of young people from the South Island who attended the week-long residential course, Blue Light life skills co-ordinator Kayla Murphy said.

“Jacob was presented the award of overall top student as camp staff felt that he had showed maturity, intuition, excelled as a team member, displayed positive qualities of leadership and was respectful towards staff and fellow course members.

“Most of all, Jacob really exemplified the qualities and attitudes the course aims to instil.”

Jacob, who has just completed his second season in the Waitaki Boys’ First XV, said he enjoyed the opportunity to attend the camp.

“It gave me a good insight into the police and army for future careers,” he told the Oamaru Mail

“I was surprised to get the award, to be honest.”

The programme is run by New Zealand Blue Light in partnership with New Zealand Police and New Zealand Defence Force.

It provides youths with a residential-based course delivering life skills and leadership training, specialising in building self-respect and respect for others, working within boundaries, self-care, teamwork and problem-solving.

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.

The registered charity and community policing youth programme has run activities for the past 30 years.

Blue Light is supported by police officers who carry out activities over and above their normal police duties alongside civilian volunteers, but Blue Light operates independently and does not receive any funding from police.