Boot camps are the latest addition to the Ben’s Ranch Foundation (BRF) programming options. To serve more youth and create pathways for teens to create a ladder where they can grow and progress within our programs, BRF offers several types of small group programs, including one-day “boot camps.”
How boot camps work
Groups of our applicants, interns and volunteers converge on a farm or stable to complete projects, learn and work together as teams. The boot camps give BRF and its teens a way to be introduced to and help partnering farms and stables, while giving BRF an opportunity to get better acquainted with our teens and assess their readiness to participate in other group programs or an internship.
“We’ve really come to appreciate all the benefits of getting our teens together for a few hours to work, learn and interact with peers and adults,” says BRF Executive Director Brose McVey. “Our whole program benefits when we can really spend time with applicants as part of our overall assessment. And, our teens seem to really enjoy these gatherings,” McVey continued.
For example, BRF recently pulled together a dozen teens and several adult volunteers to build fences at Conner Prairie. The team gathered at Conner Prairie on a Monday morning at 7:45 AM and quickly turned into a well-oiled machine, impressing Conner Prairie staff and surpassing expectations in record time.
The students made new friends, learned new skills and each earned a gift card for their hard work.
“Getting teens out by 7:45 to dig fence post holes and work in the hot sun?” asked McVey. “They killed it. Getting away from the cell phones, getting outdoors and doing physical work has a magical effect on young people, especially those who are hurting inside. We look forward to expanding our small group programs, including training sessions, boot camps and six-week programs.”