HEART | BODY | MIND
STEVE'S CAMP AT HORIZON FARMS
Steve’s Camp at Horizon Farms revolves around the idea that an intense residential experience can provide the spark that ignites a lifetime of change for youth from chronically underserved communities in NYC.
We often use the metaphor of a building a campfire to illustrate this concept.
SPARK + TINDER + KINDLING + FUEL = FIRE
Participants first spend two weeks on our 100 acre campus deep in the Catskill Mountains where they begin the cycle of change by exploring the interconnected concepts of healthy body, healthy heart, healthy mind. The camp experience can be life changing, but like with tinder where fire catches easily, this spark can go out quickly.
We feed that spark into a tiny flame with kindling through our school year Afire programs. Campers are encouraged to participate in all three 6-week workshops which cover topics of interest - like Health + Wellness, Arts + Discovery, and Critical Issues - and build on concepts introduced over the summer.
That small fire is fanned into a blaze of enthusiasm, when we add the fuel of Evolutionary Leadership. Campers have the opportunity to pursue mentorship programs, job training for roles with increasing responsibilities, and college readiness guidance that grow confidence and develop life skills.
A HOLISTIC APPROACH TO YOUTH DEVELOPMENT
When faced with a difficult decision, who do you talk to? When life seems particularly stressful, what do you do? When your emotional/spiritual tank runs low, where do you go? At Steve’s Camp we believe that having thoughtful authentic answers to these questions depends on having a network of healthy relationships. The relationship we have with ourselves impacts the relationship we have with our friends and family and our relationships with friends and family impacts how we interact with the broader community and world.
In other words, a healthy body is connected to a healthy heart is connected to a healthy mind and so on.
CONNECTING PHYSICAL & EMOTIONAL HEALTH WITH ACADEMIC SUCCESS
Our participants come from persistently underserved communities where healthy, fresh food and green spaces for outdoor activity is limited. What does this mean for their journeys toward achieving physical health, socioemotional wellbeing, and academic success?
With respect to health, our teens often lack access, financial resources, and guidance necessary to make healthy food choices, yielding negative effects on health and school performance. These challenges are deepened by the emotional volatility of adolescence – especially in poor communities, where rates of depression are disproportionately high. Critically, teens’ emotional well-being bears a strong relationship to their academic success. In fact, achievement scores are not strong predictors of whether students will graduate from high school or college. Rather, a range of social skills and emotional competencies – a willingness to engage in class, the ability to set and pursue goals, and a belief that one truly belongs in a school community, among others – are strongly linked to high school and college graduation.
ACHIEVING DOUBLE THE
IMPACT FOR THE PAST 3 YEARS
SCHF’s programs are focused on improving the following competencies with 86% of participants progressing on their path towards success and fulfillment.
Self Management: translates to higher grades/test scores, fewer suspensions/expulsions, and improved social engagement.
Positive Identity: correlates to higher confidence, empowerment to make good decisions, and resiliency in the face of challenges.
Contribution: indicates an improved sense of purpose and positive social movement behavior that leads to positive social development and upward mobility.
To ensure we deliver a quality program that successfully impacts youth, we work with Algorhythm, who specializes in capturing data to evaluate and improve social impact.
Their program evaluation instrument is based on statistically validated constructs of Social Emotional Learning (SEL) and Positive Youth Development (PYD), and considers the implementation of program strategies proven to help develop competencies that contribute to long term success.