Scatter Joy Acres is a place that provides teens and adults, alike with the tools and guidance to become better versions of themselves. We teach them valuable trade skills, the importance of a good attitude and strong work ethic, all through the power of animals.
Our program runs year-round through the four-phase curriculum we have created. The foundation of our programming is based off of Cowboy Ethics and The Code of the West, written by James P. Owen.
Phase I (duration of the entire school year) revolves entirely around Cowboy Ethics activities, and each activity represents a principle of The Code of the West:
This cowboy creed is simple, timeless, and easy for our young people to understand while on this journey of self-discovery.
During Phases II and III, we put those principles to the test by doing ranch work projects and working with animal. This puts emphasis on work ethic, grit, civic responsibility, and commitment, especially when working with the animals and learning how to care for them.
Today, many of our young people lack a sense of direction, responsibility, and self-worth. This has been replaced with an overactive sense of entitlement. Employers experience difficulty find hard working, trustworthy employees. Many employees do not have a drive to work or have a sense of responsibility. Without these skills there is a lack of development and guidance, which is where we use the animals. In the company of animals, students become the most vulnerable. The walls and the bravado all begin to fall and the pieces of which they really are start coming together.
Think for a moment about the Wild West…the stories and movies you recall.
What comes to mind? Cowboys, Pioneer spirit, Rugged individualism along with Tough, hardworking people that did what had to be done in order to survive. They had grit, a mental toughness, firmness of mind and spirit, unyielding courage.
Looking at today’s generation, do you see any of that grit? Do you see determination, perseverance, and ambition? It is highly unlikely. They walk around with this entitlement mindset, believing that the world owes them something just for being born. How did we get here? How did we get to, “work smarter, not harder.” Why aren’t we doing both?
Everyone has become incredibly lazy and it shows in our economy. People either want to get a substantial paycheck with little skill, work ethic, or just simply choose not work at all. Have we forgotten how this country was founded and grown? People didn’t migrate west just for fun or because it was easy. They wanted more. They had two choices: to strive or die.
At Scatter Joy Acres, we teach the importance of grit, a good attitude, integrity, and purpose. We use Cowboy Ethics and The Code of the West to squash the entitled mindset in today’s youth. We empower these teens to walk into an interview with the mindset of, “here’s what I can offer you,” instead of, “what can you offer me?” There is no hand holding or pats on the back for bare minimum work ethic.
The horse portion of our program is just a bonus. Believe it or not, horses teach us so much about people. A horse is a mirror and will show you all the good, the bad and the ugly in your soul. This is important when working with our students because this is when they become the most vulnerable. The facades begin to fall and the pieces of who they are rebuilt into productive citizens.
During the four phases of our program, they learn what it means to be a decent human being, why it’s so important and how it turns into a gateway for skills and jobs that college degrees don’t give you. These are YOUR children America! These are the future and have the power to bring this country back to the values it was originally built on.
“If cowboys symbolize anything, it’s fortitude. And fortitude is not sourced by anger or physical strength; it’s sourced by love. Faced with uncertain weather, unruly cattle, and vast rangeland, cowboys-historic and current-are willing to suffer for what they love: their families, the animals they care for, the land they steward, and their way of life. By definition and job description, cowboys show grit in their gut by, well, being cowboys. They must persevere or perish. That’s grit.” -American Cowboy, p. 37
We have a choice to keep turning the other cheek away or work for positive change. They are the future of this nation and we all need to do our part in ensuring their success. At Scatter Joy Acres, we are firm believers in tough love, and everything worth having is earned through hard work and determination. We believe in the need for a change in today’s youth. We believe in the need for a better economy and closer communities. We believe in the American Dream and when given the right tools, today’s youth, and generations to come are capable of achieving anything they set their minds to.
Will you commit to helping us change the world, one student at a time?