Kimbercote Youth Program – Summary and Success

In the fall of 2016 we were honoured to receive a seed grant from the Trillium Foundation to pilot a new program for at-risk youth at our new facility at Kimbercote Farm. Participants were given a chance to develop new skills and interests through outdoor experiential learning, while simultaneously targeting a variety of social, emotional, and health/wellness barriers faced by today’s youth.  Students showed remarkeable growth, increased confidence and reduced anxiety as shown in the data we collected.

Program Elements

The program allowed youth to participate in a variety of exciting and unique experiences and teachings:

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  • Traditional and Outdoor Skills – firestarting, making cordage from native plants, wayfinding/orienteering/geocaching, shelter building, flora and fauna identification
  • Leadership Skills – through a variety of challenges and activities, youth learned essential leadership skills that will serve to build their capacity to pursue give back to their community and make healthy choices
  • Aboriginal Perspectives – youth were given a chance to learn from Glenn Trivet, an Ojibway Medicine Man to gain cultural awareness and teachings that could support them in their life choices
  • Contemporary World Issues – youth were introduced to a variety of world issues and were pushed to assess how this changed their view of their own life

The program was a huge success and through the grant and additional support, we were able to reach 139 youth over the course of the last 10 months. We hope to expand this program in the coming three years.

Quotes from youth participants:

“I can focus and think when I’m at Kimbercote because I’m not stressed out the way I am at school. I did not miss any field trips but I miss a lot of school”

“I learned that I don’t always need to use my phone. My phone gets in the way of real life”

“I learned that I loved the outdoors and that it’s really peaceful. I was open to trying new things and was more positive to the teachers than when I am at school”

“It felt good to not be on my phone because sometimes there is drama from other people and rumours get spread”

“I learned that I like old activities and learning traditional arts. It’s a new life, you get out of modern day activities, get a break from technology and see a different perspective”

“Kimbercote helped me become a better person because it made me be more accepting to new situations and more social. I found I was willing to join other groups”