Forget About Me Projects
At Discovery Ranch for Girls, each girl coordinates at least two Forget About Me (FAM) projects and has the opportunity to participate in other student’s FAM projects as well. These projects give our girls an opportunity to think outside of themselves, help others, and discover how they can use their talents and abilities towards a good purpose. The first FAM project that our girls coordinate happens as they are going from their Justice Phase to their Trust Phase. This first FAM project takes place on campus. Their second FAM project, which takes place as they move from their Trust Phase to their Love Phase, is off campus in our local community.
One of our Residential Coordinators commented about FAM projects, saying “The variety of FAM projects is astounding. In one of my favorites, a Discovery Ranch for Girls resident restored a pond and planted flowers around it in memory of her mother. Processing grief has been an important marker of her treatment, and the restored pond was enjoyed by all who come and go from the dining hall. The flowers were her mother’s favorite.”
For FAM projects, we have seen our girls do a variety of service. For example, they’ve picked up trash at a nearby recreation site, visited elderly care centers, and helped a new wildlife reserve prepare to open by painting part of the facility. There are multiple FAM projects happening every week, so our girls have many opportunities to serve.
In a project earlier this year, one of our girls gathered artwork from her peers and hung the art for display. In her reflection page, she wrote, “We used supplies in the art room and I also used nails and a hammer to nail [them] up. It was a bonding experience for us to paint together.” She wanted the girls to feel confident in their artistic abilities and wrote about how she “enjoyed doing this project. I hope that looking at the art will bring smiles to faces.”
For one of the projects that took place off campus, our girls volunteered at a local animal shelter. The girls walked the dogs and provided some deep cleaning service. The girl who coordinated this project explained how she “chose the animal shelter because I used to volunteer at many animal sheltors [sic] and I know how much work there actually is. I didn’t want to only play with the animals, but I wanted to make them more adoptable, happier, and the staffing have less work to do.” The girls worked hard to clean the kennels, shelves, and bowls.