​​   Rescue.        Rehabilitate.         Educate.        Inspire.

​​Black Dawg Farm and Sanctuary



ALL CLASSES ARE FREE TO low income families; disadvantaged children and teens.

Program grade ranges reflect anticipated grade of child starting Summer 2018.

Lil Spuds Grade PreK-2 ( with parent or caretaker)
The perfect summer program for our youngest animals enthusiast’s ; Lil Spuds is designed to introduce your child to new interests and making friends in a fun atmosphere. From arts & crafts to learning about farm animals, Lil Spuds enjoy quintessential summer camp customs while making discoveries about them­selves and the world around them!

Sprouts  Grade 3-5
As our farmers grow, so too does their experience! Activities for Sprouts include horticultural projects, building projects, art projects, interpretive trail, animal education and interaction. Sprouts not only enhance their activity-oriented and physical skills, they gain valuable interpersonal skills to help them become more responsible and independent! 

Budding Farmers Grade 6-9
Our Budding Farmers are the leaders of tomorrow! Budding Farmers enjoy the core camp program while enjoying additional activities that speak to their age and interests, including off-site day trips to other farms, advanced outdoor exploration and team-building experiences. The Budding Farmers program excels in the fun and skill-building departments counselors ensure the teens stay on track as curious, energetic young people! 

Farmers In Training (FIT) Our six-week program is designed for responsible teenagers who are interested in eventually working as farm counselors and docents. The summer will be filled with leadership training, learning about working with children and having fun! FITs must be entering 9th or 10th grade in September 2016. Application and interview will be required to determine acceptance into program.


Farm Education

Animal interactions help children develop critical skills such as trust, self-esteem, empathy, emotional regulation, and responsibility over time. Horticulture (Farming) activities also support social, academic, psychological and physical well-being.

Our farm-based education program provides experiential, interdisciplinary education that connects students and the public to the environment, their community, and the role of agriculture in our lives. The current team will consists of an instructor with a background in agricultural experience in livestock management and veterinary experience. Professionals from the animal industry will visit with the children and give them insight as to careers and opportunities in their respective industries.

Animal-assisted activities and experiential learning create the opportunity for children to self-reflect through interactions and relationships with people, peers and animals in the barn environment. Experiences with farm animals can teach responsibility, care and concern for another creature, and personal boundaries such as appropriate touch, movement, and fine and gross motor skills, as well as leadership and teamwork skills. Children become primary caretakers, feeding animals, cleaning stalls and tending to the basic needs of the animals

 Horticulture Education

Practical lessons in the garden enhance and reinforce theoretical learning in the classroom. Students gain respect for nature, manual work, individuals, and the community and have opportunities to grow plants, harvest vegetables, and prepare meals using produce out of the garden.An organic garden and a greenhouse provide the grounds for learning. A Professional organic farmer and a licensed Horticulturalist will visit the gardens and offer insight and career opportunities’ in their respective fields. The farm provides vocational training and therapeutic activities for BDFS students while maintaining sustainable agricultural practices.

Advantages of participating in purposeful, supervised gardening activities:
•    Enhance self-esteem
•    Alleviate depression
•    Improve motor skills
•    Provide opportunities in problem solving
•    Encourage work adjustment
•    Improve social interaction and communication

Equine Education

It is Black Dawg Farm and Sanctuarys goal to operate a superior Equine Education and Intervention program comprised of equine-facilitated learning, therapeutic riding, vocational training in the barn, equine sport, vaulting, and equine massage. In the program, children and Veterans suffering from PTSD learn how to care for horses, donkeys and ponies, and to manage their own behavior and emotions to benefit their relationship with the animals. 

Program activities also involve Professional Instructors and BDFS Interns who participate in carefully guided interactions, helping students to develop riding and stable management skills that enhance social, emotional, physical and academic growth beyond the horse barn.

The Black Dawg Farm and Sanctuarys FUTURE Equine Program will have four major components:

1. Equine Facilitated Learning offers opportunity for our children and Veterans to learn about themselves though the interaction and relationship with people, horses and the barn environment. This learning can happen in a stall, in a pasture, on the trail or as the child grooms a pony, leads a miniature horse, it or participates in feeding chores. All students participate in the equine program, with extra time for those who have a special affinity for the horses.

2) Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy is provided by credentialed mental health professionals who also are trained to work with horses. Strategic treatment goals for equine interactions can address self-awareness, maladaptive behavior, feelings and attitudes, peer and adult relationships, and mood.  The equine becomes an active partner in this interaction, eliciting responses, feelings and behaviors from the child and Veteran that are observed, evaluated and processed by the therapist.

4. Equine Sport through the BDFS Equine Program provides challenging, hands-on sport activities to children and Veterans who have experienced crisis in their lives by teaching them how to ride, direct and train a horse. Children and Veterans who have been unsuccessful socially or academically throughout their young lives learn to experience themselves as successful riders in the supportive surroundings of a riding program.  Guided interactions help children develop riding skills, which enhance social, emotional, physical and academic growth. As they become more proficient, the child and Veteran can experience feeling successful in a challenging skills.

5. Barn Management teaches children horse barn duties such as cleaning stalls. Children also are involved in equine recordkeeping, helping to make financial and management and learning every aspect of operating an equine center. This vocational training builds and enhances organizational skills and allows children and Veterans to recognize their potential in the workplace. For some children the barn management experience motivates them to strive even harder academically, while for others it may pave the way for a career in the equine industry