Vocational Technologies Program
Yellowstone Academy offers to Yellowstone Boys and Girls Ranch’s residential youth and day treatment students an opportunity to learn real life skills in the Vocational Technologies Program (Vo Tech). Located on YBGR’s scenic 410 acre campus, the Vo Tech program is housed in multiple structures each offering a unique course experience.
The safety of youth is YA’s number one priority and has strict safety guidelines to ensure that youth and staff remain safe at all times. Youth and staff are required to adhere to those safety guidelines when participating in Vo Tech programs, from wear Personal Protective Equipment to following basic and in-depth safety protocols.
Small engine repair
Yellowstone Academy works to teach youth how to think systematically and reasonably and to be part of the solution, not the problem. A great way of fostering that philosophy is teaching youth small engine maintenance and repair. Mechanical equipment needs to be maintained and repaired, just as the human mind and body does. By breaking down the process into logical small steps, students are able to focus on looking for issues before they become problems and finding solutions for problems. This process also helps students work through reactive mannerisms, learning patience, learning to slow down, being attentive to the project and impulse control.
Metal is considered by some to be cold and unyielding in nature, but for some it can be a warm and beautiful artistic avenue. Yellowstone Academy teaches students how to transform a piece of metal into a useful piece of art. YA offers students the opportunity of learning to cut, shape, and weld metal into coat racks, stools, signs, decorative ornamental wall hangings and much more. Students are not only exposed to the beginnings of a possible trade and career path but it also boosts their creativity and self-esteem.
Woodworking and Carpentry
Woodworking and Carpentry in YA’s Vo Tech program can range from learning how to make a pyrography embellished plaque, to a coffee table or a calf shelter. Students learn to create beautiful wood furnishings by starting with raw wood, cutting and shaping the wood by using manual and electric carpentry equipment, and finishing their projects with stains and sealants. Students also work on large group projects like building calf and horse shelters for YBGR’s herd. Students work hand and hand with Vo Tech instructors and peers on building these shelters from the ground up. Some shelters are equipped with lights and electrical outlets, windows, and are insulated. Youth gain basic carpentry and electrical knowledge while building self-esteem and teamwork skills.
Because of Yellowstone Academy’s location we are able to teach students horticulture from planting to harvest. Students learn the importance of farming, from nurturing seedlings, to the right soil conditions, planting strategies, tending plants, harvesting and processing the yields all while enjoying the sunshine and fresh air. They truly learn how to reap what they sow.
Yellowstone Academy does really have beehives and we teach our students how to construct the hives in carpentry class, tend to the bees, harvest the honey, and process it. Youth learn the delicate balance between nature and nurture by bee keeping. The taste of honey has never been so sweet for our youth!
Yellowstone Academy offers youth the opportunity to experience aviculture, raising birds. Youth are able to learn and help with incubation and how to care for the birds from egg stage through adolescences. This program is specifically designed to help repopulate pheasant communities in Montana. What an eggcellent experience for youth!