Signs of Summer—
A Summer Farm Community/Work Experience for
July 1-30, 2018
Transitioning to the world of work or university can be tough. For Deaf youth that world can be even more difficult to access because of communication challenges and social isolation. “ Signs of Summer” is a summer program designed to give Deaf youth a work experience in community with other Deaf peers on a 500 acre Nonprofit organic family farm in Nebraska. The program is meant to be equivalent to the “Woofing” experience many hearing teenagers enjoy traveling to Europe or New Zealand and working on farms for room and board and the joy of being self sufficient away from home.
We have purposefully designed the opportunity to be of minimal cost. Participants will meet in Denver. Our van will transport them to Meadowlark Hearth Farm in Scottsbluff, Nebraska. (http://www.meadowlarkhearth.org/aboutus.html)
They must bring their own sleeping bag, rain clothes, work gloves, toiletries and a willingness to work. They must have their own health insurance in case of emergency. They must be able to communicate in ASL. They must get themselves back home from Denver at the end of the experience. We ask for $100 to cover transportation and weekend activity costs. No-one will be turned away for lack of funds.
The experience will include education and hands on work with plant and soil science, crop management, harvesting, animal care, assisting with harvesting and selling of produce and possibly seed saving, building and food production. No previous experience is required. Participants will camp in tents on the farm. The farm will provide organic food which will often be freshly harvested by the participants themselves. Participants will rotate through the kitchen helping with food preparation along with the rest of the farm community members. Participants will organize classes in ASL for the farm community members and host local Deaf student/visitors on the farm. Participants who are eligible for ESY (extended school year) may receive tutoring during the experience. They will need to bring a description of their needs from their school program. The experience will also qualify for community service hours.
Participants will be instructed and assist with the work of the farm six days a week. Saturdays and Sundays will have some scheduled activities and some time for rest. Late afternoons will be enjoyed by the lake swimming, kayaking and fishing or just relaxing along the shore. The farm is approximately 500 acres and includes a large nature preserve for hiking and exploration. The town of Scottsbluff is easily accessible for activities or occasional shopping. Nearby museums and historical wagon trails and rock formations will also be enjoyed. All participants will have the opportunity to become certified in CPR and First aid and to acquire their lifetime national park pass.
Smoking, drugs and alcohol are strictly prohibited on the farm. Bullying or inappropriate social behaviors are strictly prohibited. Abuse of these restrictions will be grounds for dismissal from the program. We will be actively teaching and modeling respect, cooperation, determination, inclusivity, honesty, trust, gratitude, reverence and joy. An essential goal of the program is to create and nurture a sense of caring community amongst the Deaf participants and also as part of a larger community on the farm. We will become stewards of the animals, the farm, the earth, our community and one another.
The program will be limited to five participants. Minimum age 18 years.
Program dates July 1—31, 2018.
For more information or application contact