Change the Trajectory of Our Youth

by Hidden Villa
Vetted
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!

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Tipi Campers at Hidden Villa
Tipi Campers at Hidden Villa

Hidden Villa is gearing up for our 71st year of Summer Camp! Originating in 1945, Hidden Villa Summer Camp programs build relationships among youth from diverse socio-economic and cultural backgrounds who come together for shared activities in Hidden Villa’s unique environment.

In the tradition of our founders, Josephine and Frank Duveneck, the children and youth who attend our programs enjoy traditional camp activities such as games, swimming, and arts and crafts, and also learn about the natural world and about working and sharing with people from different backgrounds. Campers work on the farm, harvest produce, cook in our outdoor kitchen, hike in the wilderness, and experience thoughtful periods of reflection and stimulating conversation. Our campers are also able to enjoy the wonder and exhilaration of the outdoors by exploring and growing together within a safe and supportive environment.

In 2015, Hidden Villa Summer Camp served a total of 1,304 young people. Because of the generosity of supporters like you, we are able to provide impactful youth programming throughout the year. Stay tuned later in the summer for stories from our 2016 campers.

Milk those goats!
Milk those goats!

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Environmental Science in the Creek
Environmental Science in the Creek

Our Youth Development Department has been hard at work this year creating new and different program offersing that will help us achieve our mission of inspiring a just and sustainable futre.

Most recently, they completed a 5 day overnight experience with Bay Area youth, introducing them to the farm animals, wilderness and the 8 acres of agriculutural production. Today, they are out on the farm with forty 6th graders, enjoying this beautiful sunny day after a weekend of even more beautiful rain. 

These youth programming opportunities are powerful. They introduce young people to where their food may coem from and what role these youth can play in our food system. Our educators build trust with the youth and among the youth, creating stronger teams for when they go back to their communities and schools. These programs show the youth that they have the agency to be the change makers that we need today and in the future. 

Go ahead and check out some of our new Youth Development Programs here.

Thank you for believing in this work and the change making youth and we get to work with. 

Team building at it
Team building at it's finest
Real Student from Last Year
Real Student from Last Year

In taking a moment to reflect on the past couple of weeks in the Youth Development department, I am reminded of something: how much of a difference it makes to work with and be surrounded by truly dedicated people. It is invigorating to see the department’s collective energy and confidence build as we coalesce into our new team’s dynamics, tackling weeks packed with youth programming and staff trainings. It has been busy, to be certain - we passed our annual site specific high ropes certification with flying colors and our supply shed is nearing its long awaited completion. This Friday we will renew our commitment to the initiatives elected in last year’s strategic planning process at our department’s first retreat, and will continue to hone our visions throughout the coming year. What an exciting time for Youth Development!

Today also marks our first day with our partnership school, Redwood Environmental Academy and Leadership (REAL for short). We're excited about the next three days and two nights that we'll get to spend with this group of youth. We have all kinds of fun, engaging, and academic acivities planned out for them - from lessons on biomimicry, to nature hikes, and ropes course. All of this will happen here at Hidden Villa, on the farm and wilderness land, a short distance from their homes in Redwood City. This is one of our longest partnerships and we're excited to update more soon.

Thank you so much for making this program possible for youth in our community and helping us inspire a just and sustainable future!

Links:

DCP students visit with Vida the cow
DCP students visit with Vida the cow

The GROW Youth Leadership Program is a partnership Hidden Villa has established with Downtown College Prep (DCP), located in Alum Rock, San Jose where students are 98% Latino and 90% low-income. 41% of parents have less than a high school education and 4% of parents have a college degree, while 95% of DCP students are matriculated in colleges around the country after graduation.

The goal of this partnership with DCP is to get youth out of their everyday life; having new experiences and building intergenerational community in a learning environment that promotes personal agency, social justice and environmental stewardship.

This past year, DCP students joined us at three different points, building team morale on the high and low ropes course, fostering compassion through farm and animal care, and increasing courage and confidence on day and night hikes. “I liked when we had our groups and worked together to feed the chickens and milk the cow.” Another student told us, “After Hidden Villa, I try more new things, even if I’m scared.” It is a success when students take risks, challenge themselves to try new experiences, and work collaboratively to achieve their goals. During the 2015-2016 school year we will continue and grow this program with both a Leadership and a Science overnight retreat.

Offering youth opportunities that buttress their academic knowledge with hands-on life experiences is crucial to their ability to be agents of change in our community. “Hidden Villa gave me the courage to come out of my comfort zone and taught me to try to be a leader. I now feel confident to help people and to encourage them when they aren’t having such a good day.” We are excited to partner with you to create experiences for our local youth that serve them as whole students, preparing them for their future and our shared future as a community.  

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Organization Information

Hidden Villa

Location: Los Altos Hills, CA - USA
Website: http:/​/​www.hiddenvilla.org
Project Leader:
Sofia Pablo-Hoshino
Development Coordinator
Los Altos Hills, California United States
$22,615 raised of $30,000 goal
 
182 donations
$7,385 to go
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