“Letters from the Camps”
“Letters from the Camps: C.P.S. No. 117, Exeter School, Lafayette, Rhode Island”
It has been difficult for some of the men to adjust to the work, and there are adequate reasons for that. Imagine being placed in charge of thirty small boys, mostly normal in all the ways that normal boys are…getting them dressed, teeth brushed, to meals on time, in bed at certain hours, straighten out there [sic] quarrels, etc., etc…camp was never like this! When the end of the day comes most of the men are ready for bed, and there is a question looming large in their minds if the boys are as tired as they are!
Then there is the problem of discipline…“spare the rod and spare the child” or “come on now, young fellow, let’s talk this over???????” We are putting a lot of thought and serious discussion into this problem to find out just how far the principle of non-resistance can be applied to a small boy who has been sent to this institution in the first place because he was a discipline problem in school, long with being mentally retarded. There can be no doubt that in a few months we will be better prepared to think and speak adequately concerning the whole field and principle of non-resistance and non-violence. The biggest problem in working with the patients is the matter of time to deal with individual problems that come up right in the middle of some routine that involves a time schedule. But we do feel that as time goes and we are better able to get acquainted with the patients and the routine that we will have time to put to individual “problem children,” of which at Exeter School their numbers are legion. We are glad to be here because these people need our help…the type of help we hope we can give them.
--Taken from Mennonite Central Committee Bulletin, vol. 2 no. 13. January 8, 1944. In "Publications, MCC Bulletin, later CPS Bulletin. Vol. 1-6, 1942-1947," folder 6/12, series IX-13-1. MCC Records Collection, Akron, PA.