When teens are offered the opportunity to problem solve the results are often astounding. Today’s youth are inundated with data (as those who purchase their data plans know). Tamarack Farm gives them a place away from this constant input and trusts them to problem solve and create. We’ve seen many young people step up this week in beautiful ways:

  • We’ve had teens volunteer to help facilitate restorative justice circles for interpersonal conflicts between individuals. The dialogues that have transpired have been beautiful.
  • This year we have a teen-led chore committee who are figuring out the best ways to keep everyone motivated on chores (they’re doing a incredible job so far).
  • As we’re planning to leave on trips next week a small group of teens is planning all the food menus and packing out meals for all our groups heading out on Sunday.
  • Teens met with me (on their own initiative) to help plan discussions for our community around how issues of social justice can be integrated into the way we take care of each other.
  • We have folks stepping up in leadership roles as harvest managers and in animal care at the farm.
  • Our teens have taken on planning and design aspects of our new art barn from math for cuts on a barn door to designing and painting it.
  • Teens took on planning an amazing theatrical dinner mystery complete with costumes, music, and a scavenger hunt for a “kidnapped” member of the dinner party.
  •  There are few Tamarack Farmers planning an event for 13-14 year-olds at the other F&W camps because they want more young people to know about the Farm so they want to join us in future summers.

In their lives outside the summer, their brains are receptors, here we try to create space for them to explore and build on their ideas. I believe giving teens problem-solving skills is exactly what they need for the 21st century. It’s beautiful to see what they create when given the trust and support to carry out their ideas.

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