RuffTrack is an awesome youth program based at the RuffTRACK Farm near Riverstone. A fully registered charity, we take on young people (13-17 years old) who have disengaged with school and the community to give them skills, education, a sense of self worth and reconnecting them with their community. We work closely with Hawkesbury police and the incredible BackTrack Youth Works to make a real change in young people's lives.
Each young person bonds with a dog in their first days. That partnership takes them on a journey of learning responsibility, caring for others and communicating without violence. The team then travels the country demonstrating their skills and giving them purpose and a reason to give life a serious go.
Skills attained in the program include dog training, dog sports, horticulture, landscaping, welding, aluminium fabrication, animal husbandry, leather work, wood work, driving and licence attainment, carpentry, mechanics, bushcraft, domestic skills, nutrition and physical education, effective communication, conflict resolution, building healthy relationships..... and a whole lot more!
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly..."
Theodore Roosevelt, April 1910
The RuffTRACK Program
Our goal is to harness the talents of our young participants, who chose to make a change in their lives and reach their full potential. We aim to empower these young people by helping them establish trust and bonds with our amazing working dogs.
The 'Round Yard' program is a gateway into the full RuffTRACK program and takes participants on a 6 week journey 'joining up' with a young dog at a similar stage in life to themselves and working together to accomplish daily goals of manners, communication, overcoming challenges as well as sheep herding, and fun dog Sports such as K9 Super Wall and DockDogs.
The RuffTRACK program is designed to encourage young people who are falling through the cracks at no fault of their own to re-integrate into society. This is achieved by skills attained through programs based around building relationships, animal care and training, public speaking, agricultural education, self-generated income projects, community outreach services and connecting to country.
RuffTRACK measures the success of participants in our program through the daily transformation of each young person.
The RuffTRACK crew then takes this knowledge on the road with our incredible community outreach programs and performances in schools across Australia. They include:
This show takes city kids across the Great Dividing Range to country Australia. They get to learn about sustainable production in the Australian environment and understand each species of animal and their care ending on a hands on experience for an up close and personal finish.
This gives children the opportunity to directly experience our first cultures, the way they lived, how they lived now and how they continue to be part of our dynamic nation. Allowing the children to relate back to their own lives through sustainability, respect, appreciation, cultural awareness and positive interactions.
We take kids on a series of fun, team-based obstacles to build their understanding and appreciation of the daily lives of Aussie farmers. Kids learn that the food they eat doesn't just appear in the shops - it's the hard work and resilience of our amazing farming families who ensure our supermarkets are stocked, no matter the challenges of the harsh Australian environment.
This show gives children an appreciation of the human/dog journey, our history of working together, the creation of breeds and the modern science based training methods in which to enrich the lives of pets and train dogs in our service. This fun and interactive perfomance builds in messages of building bonds based on trust and mutual reward as well as responsibility and the joy of the shared journey.