If you are considering farmlife therapy for your teen, you may be concerned about whether he or she will adapt to an outdoor experience. After all, most teenagers today don't grow up on farms, nor do they have knowledge of how farming works. It's easy for all of us, kids and adults alike, to fall into the trap of thinking food comes from the grocery store and not from a farm where crops are cultivated and harvested by diligent teams of people who work together to keep us all fed.
As a society, we have lost touch with our ancestral roots and, in large part, with the natural world. Farmlife therapy takes us back to the basics of what it means to live in community with one another and with God’s creation.
If your teenager does not spend much time outside, time spent in nature can create an especially positive change of pace. Experiencing the natural world allows us to truly be present and centered, a skill that teenagers can take with them long after camp is over. At Camp SEK, participants sleep in cabins with bunk beds. The cabins have electricity and running water, but you won’t find any televisions or computers there; these living spaces are meant for connection and calm.
If your teen can handle mild to moderate physical activity, he or she is equipped for farmlife therapy. Someone doesn’t need to be a star athlete to participate in planting, horseback riding, and tending to animals. All one needs is a willingness to try something new.
Camp SEK is structured so that teenagers can learn basic farmlife tasks, succeed at them, and build confidence in the process. Campers learn they are capable of more than they thought, not just physically, but emotionally and spiritually as well. Every physical activity at Camp SEK, from yoga to the low ropes course, is accessible to people with varying levels of physical fitness. Every step of the way, campers are under the supervision of trained professionals who know how to keep them safe.
A typical day at Camp SEK is much more active than a day at school or a weekend day at home. Free from the distractions of social media, television, and video games, campers engage in a wide variety of activities all designed to foster healing. The camp schedule is not designed to be physically taxing, but to allow teenagers to move their bodies throughout the day during various therapy modalities. Healthy bodies want to move, and getting outside in the fresh air has proven mental and physical health benefits.
The fact that farmlife therapy is so foreign to most participants is what makes it so powerful. It breaks them out of their usual patterns of behavior and thus their usual patterns of thinking. If farmlife therapy would be very new to your teen, this is no reason to shy away from it. In fact, the newness of the experience could help your teen grow.