Welcome to this first edition of Carolyn’s Corner! Each month our Experiential Education Director, Carolyn Davis, will share a bit about activities happening with the youth around The Matthews House.
Summer is just around the corner and The Matthews House is preparing for it big time this year. As our program continues to grow and expand we are very excited to announce two new summer programs:
Outdoor Club and Cultivate: A Community Garden Project!
Let me tell you a little bit about what we hope these programs will look like this year.
Kristina Maxwell, MSW, (one of our Transition Facilitators) will be combining her two passions, social work and outdoor education, as she takes youth out weekly to explore the great outdoors. Many of the youth at The Matthews House never had the opportunity to explore the mountains, lakes, and forests right in their Colorado backyard.
For Kristina and I it is difficult to imagine summers without being outdoors, playing in the dirt, swimming in the lake or ocean, hiking, and just letting nature be the backdrop for a great day. So, we’re hoping to impart some of our passion to our youth and develop in them a respect and love for their natural surroundings, resources, and environment at large by having them experience good ol’ fashion playtime.
We’re never too old to play in the outdoors and are so excited to take our youth on grand adventures; we’ll be whitewater rafting, hiking, mountain biking, fishing, and swimming! It really is incredible to think about how amazing of a classroom the outdoors can be and are looking forward to all the self-discovery that is bound happen this summer amongst our youth.
As for our gardening program, Cultivate, well, that’s a work in progress. We are so fortunate to be in our new neighborhood and work out of this house. Since its our first growing season here we’ll be taking some time to discover what is already growing in our yard and some time to imagine the possibilities.
Youth who are interested will have the opportunity to learn how to work a garden. We might have flowers, we might have vegetables, we might have both! One thing I can say for sure is that it won’t all get done in one year. My hope is that together youth, staff, and volunteers can create a vision of what they want their Matthews House “home” to look like and reflect. As the years go by and our program grows and changes, so will our gardens.
The goal is to show youth in a tangible way what it looks like, the energy takes, and the beautiful outcomes of taking the time to nurture living things – what a poignant way for youth to experience that kind of care when it has never been modeled for them before.
Well, those are the updates from me this month. I look forward to writing to you all next month when I hope to be able to tell you more about how our youth are engaging in their community and reducing their carbon footprint!
Signing off for now – Carolyn, Experiential Education Director (aka, Director of Fun!).