Just as memories of summer camp stir nostalgic feelings in many people, Colusa County Department of Behavioral Health (CCBH) is hoping to assist a few young people in making those same types of memories.
For the past two summers, CCBH has successfully implemented a summer camp program sending 15-25 local young people to Far View Ranch Camp in Bangor, California.
The camp is nestled on a 1,000-acre cattle ranch in the rolling foothills of the Sierra Nevada. At Far View Ranch Camp, the young campers have an opportunity to learn and experience new things themselves and with others through an atmosphere of welcomed support from experienced counselors and nature itself.
The camp is a window into another way of life whose goal is to provide young people a fun, safe place to be themselves away from negative social pressures that are too often prevalent in their daily lives. Whether singing around a campfire, horseback riding, fishing, kayaking, plunging into water off a zip line, making new friends, baking bread, farm chores or acting in their first live theatrical performance, these young people are learning how to be a good loser, a good winner, how to live, play and work well within a group of diverse individuals.
Success is hard to measure, but as far as CCBH counselors’ perspectives are concerned, there is nothing like picking up a carload of young people with smiles on their faces, stories to tell, songs to sing and an overall sense of well -being and hope for the future. “That spells success and empirical outcomes to measure,” said Deana Fleming, CCBH clinical program manager.
Fleming added that she and the program are very appreciative of the SB 163 funding and interim CCBH director William Cornelius and Elizabeth Kelly of Health and Human Services for supporting a viable resource and a positive, therapeutic intervention that will have long lasting results in the lives of CCBH young people.■