Farm Skills Program
Lions Youth Haven is a registered not for profit organization owned and supported by the Lions Clubs in Canberra and Queanbeyan.
Westwood Farm is located on the Kambah Pool Road 20 minutes from the centre of Canberra .The farm consists of 200 hectares bounded by nature reserves and national parks.
The objectives of the program:
- Provide an outdoor environment where young people are able to learn basic skills which equip them to better fill their places in society as self-sufficient and productive individuals.
- Provide experiences for young people where they can gain confidence and self-respect.
- In particular the program aims to develop team building, problem solving and knowledge about farm activities including chicken-rearing, handling and feeding poddy calves and lambs, plant propagation and Water Watch The program will be tailored to meet students’ interests.
Our 8 Week Program
The Farm Skills Program recommenced in March 2022 after a lengthy shutdown period due to the COVID pandemic. The program is currently running three days a week during school terms. Lions Youth Haven has partnered with 6 schools since recommencement to bring an engaging program to the participating students.
The students are taught life skills such as nutrition, cooking and keeping a clean and hygienic environment. They have also learned a wide range of farm skills including animal care, plant propagation, growing vegetables, construction and maintenance skills, use of basic tools, gardening and horticulture and nature-based crafts such as whittling, woodwork and weaving.
As well as learning hands on skills the program has allowed the students to experience a different kind of learning environment, outside of a classroom. It requires that they work as a team, take responsibility for rostered tasks, and learn social skills as they work together with the other students and Lions Youth Haven staff.
In addition, it gives the students the opportunity to have space outside of the school environment to reassess, reengage and identify skill and talents they have which may not have been evident in a more academic environment. The rural setting gives the students a sense of connection to the land and nature, a place of retreat where they can relax and take time away from the stress of life and be in an environment where they are supported and encouraged.
The program is lead by a trained Educator from Lions Youth Haven and a staff member from the school/s participating. Each program can accommodate up to 8 students. A bus is available to transport students to and from school.
Morning tea and lunch are provided with the students involved in the preparation and cleaning up.
Students are expected to wear suitable clothing for an outdoor activity with covered shoes and a brimmed hat. Students are also encouraged to bring a water bottle.
This program has been heavily subsidised by the Lions Clubs of Canberra.