The C.R.E.W. Ojai, California
In addition to the provision of valuable job skills training in the areas of fire prevention, forestry, and landscaping, the C.R.E.W. uses the job site for non-classroom-based life skills education. We focus upon environmental work because it gets the boys and girls “off the concrete”, away from their communities and their regular peer group. It is this radical change in a personal environment that fosters a life altering experience through the combination of physically exhausting work, team membership, new friendships, and pride in valuable work performed. Good behavior is doubly reinforced by regular paychecks. C.R.E.W. members also develop community pride through creation of vital protection services and emulation of role models among supervisors and collaborative staff.
In this non-classroom learning site we teach life skills such as team co-operation, respect for fellow workers and supervisors, and tolerance for persons of different ethnic backgrounds, gender or home town. We teach leadership and job site safety, personal accountability for work performed and tasks completed, and respect for tools and property. As part of our week long summer work campout or “spike-out” component crew members are also taught wild land camping and survival skills and are introduced to a broad variety of related topics such as native area animals, birds, reptiles, plants and trees.