Youth Grow Day Camp

in Firehose/Latest/Living

Youth Grow Day Camp
– Lindsey Asay for EDN

I had my first job at 14. I helped out around my mom’s interior decorating shop….doing whatever I was told to do. As much as I didn’t appreciate it at the time, that job and the responsibilities that came with it, set the foundation for my hard work ethic as an adult. More and more these days it seems that kids, especially teenagers, lack any sense of work ethic at all. With Super Sweet 16 parties, brand new cars, phones, trips and clothes all handed out without nothing more than an “I want.”

Programs like Northwest Youth Corps, which has been around since the 80’s, is an organization that challenges today’s youth to put down their MP3 player and get their hands dirty. NW Youth Corps is a youth development and outdoor education organization that has provided opportunities to more than 14,000 young people since its establishment. This year NW Youth Corps will be sending out more than 900 teens to do conservation and restoration projects throughout Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Northern California. In addition to providing challenging education and job-training experiences to young adults, NW Youth Corps will be kicking off the 3rd season of their Youth Grow Day Camp on June 20th.

The Laurel Valley Educational Farm is a 2 acre organic farm located on the Northwest Youth Corps campus on Augusta St in Eugene.  The farm serves as the basis for sustainable natural resource education for youth participating in Northwest Youth Corps programs throughout the year. Campers will have the opportunity to design and build beds, sow seeds, transplant starts, apply companion planting techniques, create healthy compost, learn about the wondrous world of worms, harvest crops, and create quick healthy foods fresh from the garden.

This exciting outdoor exploration-based camp teaches youth about growing natural whole foods, while connecting children to the wonders of nature. Children will be able to bring home fresh produce and plant starts, take field trips to local farms, create a “nature journal” to collect and press plants, build their own pizza box solar oven, make handmade paper, learn about bee keeping and worm composting, and also have the unique opportunity get hands-on involvement growing food at a real, working farm. The curriculum is designed to combine crafts, games and lessons together for a complete and sustainable educational experience.

Not only a great learning experience for kids, the farm also offers a CSA, Community Supported Agriculture box. Right now, there are about 20 CSA members who receive a box of fresh veggies each week.  And during the summer, a farm stand is opened once a week to offer veggies to local neighbors in our community. Last year the Youth Grow Day Camp served 30 campers and this year’s enrollment has already surpassed that number. There are spots still available and interested campers can register here.

Thank you to Heather Shellenberg, Marketing and Community Relations for NW Youth Corps, for the information and pictures for this article.


Northwest Youth Corps
2621 Augusta Street
Eugene, OR 97403
(541) 349-5055