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“I learned a lot, it was a great atmosphere, working outdoors with very nice people. I think it would be a good experience for anyone looking to pick up some hours toward their volunteer requirement.” – Julia Stewart, youth volunteer

“The work was different every time I came in,” says Courtney Welsh, youth volunteer, “That’s what made it so interesting.” Coutney worked in the office—inputting data into the computer, putting labels on envelopes, etc.

“What a wonderful opportunity to experience the out of doors. It teaches a lot about nature and all that we take for granted. I think the youth were pleasantly surprised—they learned a lot more about natural things than they originally thought they would.” – Hugh Siddons, former Director of Activities

“Volunteering with the Youth Group Program of Friends of the Farm gave me the opportunity to work outdoors and to learn more about the environment. It was also a great opportunity for me to meet other high school students who are interested in the same things that I am.” – Jennifer Glasgow, youth volunteer

John Ryan, youth volunteer, arrived with no idea of what the work entailed, and despite the physical toil, “it never felt like grunt work.” He says that gardening freed his mind: “I was able to enjoy the day and put thoughts about school and my future aside” and he was “excited to meet so many interesting people” and to learn so much about gardening—tools, techniques and even “pesky” Japanese beetles and dog strangling vine.

“Helping human seeds to foster the growth and health of ornamental plants helped me to sprout fresh green buds of the soul.” – Dave Johnson, Youth Group Coordinator

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“These experiences were interesting and fun as well as educational. We hope that the CEF’s beauty and serenity will encourage even more youth to take part in maintaining and improving one of Ottawa’s oldest historical sites. – Anna Vagt, Youth Group Coordinator

“Last summer my daughter Julia Colasante did some volunteer work for Friends of the Farm. This new program was an enjoyable, rewarding learning experience for her. She had an opportunity to volunteer and at the same time learn about the different plants and insects on the farm. Thank you and best of luck with your new endeavour.” – Catherine Colasante, parent

“Young volunteers are a great help at our FCEF special events, such as the Victorian Tea fundraiser in August, where they help during the event in clearing tables, or at the Book Sale, where they help keep the shelves stocked. I think that including youth at FCEF-sponsored special events is an energizing experience!” – Donna Pape, Director of Volunteers

“Even though it’s a school requirement to book 40 hours of volunteering, I actually had loads of FUN. I really dig volunteering at The Farm!” – Emma Lecours, youth volunteer