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Change the Trajectory of Our Youth

by Hidden Villa
Change the Trajectory of Our Youth
Change the Trajectory of Our Youth
Change the Trajectory of Our Youth
Change the Trajectory of Our Youth
Change the Trajectory of Our Youth
Change the Trajectory of Our Youth
Change the Trajectory of Our Youth
Change the Trajectory of Our Youth
Change the Trajectory of Our Youth
Change the Trajectory of Our Youth
Change the Trajectory of Our Youth
Change the Trajectory of Our Youth
Change the Trajectory of Our Youth
Change the Trajectory of Our Youth
Change the Trajectory of Our Youth

It’s been a busy year for Youth Development! In fiscal year 2017, the Youth Development department conducted 60 programs, 1/3 of which were offered with some amount of financial aid. We served 1441 youth and anticipate that number to grow in fiscal year 2018.

During Summer Camp 2017, the Youth Development Department offered a Farm-Based Cooking Academy and Creative Arts in Nature program for teens. Over the course of three sessions, teens in the Farm-Based Cooking Academy explored the importance of food sustainability and local food systems by working with Hidden Villa’s Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program. Hidden Villa’s CSA feeds over 120 subscribing families each season and donates 25% of all produce to a local foodbank. During the Academy, teens honed their culinary skills using fresh from the farm ingredients as part of this hands-on, sensory program and witnessed the way CSA impacts the local community. The Creative Arts in Nature program offered teens another opportunity to engage with Hidden Villa’s 1600 acres of protected land in a different way. Teens in this program expressed their creativity through field journaling, drawing, painting, poetry, and photography which led to daily discoveries and inspiration through investigating the natural world.

Also in fiscal year 2017, we offered four sessions of our Animal Husbandry Apprenticeship (AHA) program where teens train with Hidden Villa’s farm crew to learn sustainable and humane techniques for raising chickens, pigs, goats, sheep, and jersey cows. After a comprehensive introduction to our production animals, apprentices team up to master the care of their favorite animals. We are excited to partner with the Boys & Girls Club for the first session of this year and will offer three additional sessions to the public.

This Spring, we look forward to our fourth annual Day on the Farm program in partnership with Help One Child. Help One Child seeks to support those providing homes and services to foster youth in the Bay Area. During the Day on the Farm, foster children and their families can enjoy fun, age-specific activities like ice-cream making, team building on the high ropes course, arts and crafts, hiking and more. They will also be able to interact with our farm animals and enjoy time to play outside in nature.

For the first time, we are seeking outside funding to support this partnership and relieve Help One Child and Hidden Villa of the financial burden from this program. We are excited to have your support in funding this unique opportunity for foster youth from all over the Bay Area!

Links:

On the Farm
On the Farm

Hidden Villa's Youth Development program inspires young leaders to become agents of change by encouraging respect, empathy, stewardship, critical-thinking, and community engagement. Middle school and high school age students in our programs engage with our farm, wilderness, and each other in ways that nurture a thriving adult.

We offer two types of programming: Group Programs and Individual Programs.

Group programs are an opportunity to engage your class or youth group in hands-on, experiential learning. Our program offers twelve different types of programs in half day or full day formats designed to supplement your classwork. These programs can be combined with overnight accommodations in our youth hostel or camping. Individual programs are after-school or summer opportunities for teens to develop new skills and gain a deeper understanding of sustainable agriculture and other topics.

This Summer, our Youth Development Program staff have been leading individual one week long programs for youth. In June, teens came to participate in the Social Justice Leadership Essentials. This program focuses on Hidden Villa's founders' passion for Social Justice. Through daily reflections, hands-on activities, teens building their knowledge of the program's five pillars: Race & Class, Gender, Sexuality & Family Structure, Food & Farm, Environmental Sustainability, and how these tie into the Duveneck Legacy.

Most recently, teens participated in the Farm Based Cooking Academy. In this program, teens explore Hidden Villa's certified organic farm to learn about soil science, animal husbandry, sustainable farming, and localized food systems. During each day, teens get to hone their culinary skills by learning new recipes that incorporate the fresh, organic produce being grown here. After a basic introduction to food safety and knife skills, campers gained confidence in the kitchen by practicing how to simmer, sauté, bake, broil, mince, and more. Campers also learned how to harvest fresh produce from the farm to create delicious dishes including Massaged Kale Salad, Homemade Pizza, and Zucchini Muffins with Strawberry Rhubarb Jam.

Here are some testimonials:

"My confidence in the kitchen has grown. I'm excited to cook my mom a meal at home!"

"It encouraged me to cook more for myself and be adventurous in flavors."

"The most interesting part is when I learned the difference between industrial farming and localized food systems. I feel motivated to teach my family how we can make a difference!"

Preparing some lunch
Preparing some lunch
Culinary Love
Culinary Love

Links:

Our Youth Development Department has been hard at work this year enhancing existing programs and nurturing ongoing partnerships that will help us achieve our mission of inspiring a just and sustainable future.

Most recently, they completed several 5 day overnight experiences with Bay Area youth, introducing them to the farm animals, wilderness and the 8 acres of agricultural production. When a High Schools signs up for a Youth Development program at Hidden Villa, they are able to choose between 4 thematic categories: Farm & Wilderness Exploration, Environmental Science, Leadership Development, and Farm & Food.

At the end of April, Hidden Villa will be hosting and working with Help One Child - a nonprofit organization whose mission is to recruit, train, and support those willing to provide a home or volunteer services to at-risk children. This event will provide hundreds of local families an opportunity to bring their loved ones to Hidden Villa for a free, fun filled day of adventures and activities on the farm and in the wilderness. We are in the fourth year of this collaborative effort to provide at-risk youth with a sense of place and community at Hidden Villa.

Thank you for your generous support for Hidden Villa's Youth Development Program!

On the Ropes Course
On the Ropes Course

   Thank you for continuing to support Hidden Villa’s Youth Development and Summer Camp Programs. This fall season has been lively and full of new experiences and your support has been a big part of our success. At the beginning of the school year (August), the Youth Development and Summer Camp staff was recertified as Challenge Course Facilitators, enabling them to design and provide programs that challenge students and campers in new ways. A new, big focus within the curriculum is around social emotional learning and being outdoors provides us with the space to give teens a way to interact with each other socially and emotionally. Here’s a look into one of our partnership programs from this fall season.    

   During the current school year, Hidden Villa worked with students from Redwood High School in Redwood City, CA that participate in the REAL program. The Redwood Environmental and Academic Leadership group’s coordinator and teacher, Mr. B, had this to say about his students’ experience, “REAL’s partnership with Hidden Villa is truly a cornerstone for our program’s success. It allows students to experience concepts and themes in a non-traditional educational setting – this is quintessential for many of our student’s success since the mainstream educational system has failed them as a rule.”

   Mr. B continued on to say, “Hidden Villa’s compassionate teaching and mastery of exploratory and project-based learning experiences allows REAL’s students to re-ignite their spark for curiosity and passion for learning. The Team-Building exercises Hidden Villa staff lead do truly liberate students from the multitude of challenges they face at home and in the school setting. Students walk away from their time at Hidden Villa with a different appreciation for the outdoors, increased self-confidence and collaboration skills, and a newfound excitement for their educational experiences, since the paradigm has been so thoroughly shifted.”

   Hidden Villa’s Youth Development program inspires young leaders to become agents of change by encouraging respect, empathy, stewardship, critical-thinking, and community engagement. Middle and High School aged students in our programs engage with our farm, wilderness, and each other in ways that nurture a thriving adult. Thank you for supporting our program!

Caring for the baby calf
Caring for the baby calf
Learning to milk a goat
Learning to milk a goat

Links:

Teamwork While Weighing Goat Milk
Teamwork While Weighing Goat Milk

Over 1,265 campers, ranging in age from four to eighteen years, attend Hidden Villa Day Camp, Residential Camp, and Youth Leadership Camp each summer. Our program is structured so one camp experience builds on the next. In offering a continuum of age-appropriate opportunities, campers are encouraged to come back year after year. Here is some of the feedback that we received from our community about Summer Camp 2016:

“I learned appreciation of people from all backgrounds, and appreciation of nature and animals.” – ACT Participant

 

“I learned how to bottle feed a baby goat, put chickens to bed, and sportsmanship.” – Tipi Camper

 

“My daughter absolutely loved her camp experience. Thank you all for welcoming her and creating such a nurturing, inclusive environment for the campers to learn, grow and have adventures.” – Resident Camp Parent

This year Hidden Villa Summer Camp celebrated 71 years of providing impactful, multicultural, environmentally focused day and residential experiences for our community. The generous support from our community allows us to continue to make Summer Camp more accessible for children and youth of all backgrounds. Thank you!

Links:

 

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Organization Information

Hidden Villa

Location: Los Altos Hills, CA - USA
Website:
Project Leader:
Sofia Pablo-Hoshino
Development Coordinator
Los Altos Hills, California United States

Funded Project!

Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.
   

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