DIRT GROUP is an experiential social skills training group based in the context of a gardening / farming project for at-risk youth. DIRT GROUP was created by Kenny Turck whose family has been on the same farm since 1875 when his great grandfather Jacob threw an axe into the woods to decide where to homestead.  Kenny is a Social Worker and in 2010 received the NASW (MN) Paul & Sheila Wellstone Social Justice Award for his work on food security issues wirh at-risk youth through DIRT GROUP. Kenny has been working in the human services field for 30 years and is the founder, CEO, and Co-Owner of Crow River Family Services, LLC (CRFS) based in Litchfield, Minnesota. CRFS provides outpatient and community-based mental health services.

DIRT GROUP is informed by and grounded in 4 major theories: Symbolic Interactionism, Experiential Learning, Social Learning,  and Strength – based theories. DIRT GROUP provides tangible results,  skills that prepare participants for life, pride and ownership,  community contributions/investment & participation (“Big Ripple Effect”), and social inclusion–fostering resiliency, competence/mastery, achievement, mindfulness,  and emotional and behavioral self-regulation.

Implications for practice include alternative education opportunities in the form of academic credits in science, writing, technology,  FACS, social studies, economics, etc., community-based mental health/social/life skills training, early childhood development (brain development), juvenile and adult corrections, economic development (“What the Cluck Food Truck”,
“4 Bubbas Foods”, “Jersey Sausage & Kraut”, and more!!!)


Recent and upcoming trainings/workshops:
November 5th: Litchfield High School,  Adolescent Mental Health, Bullying,  & Inclusion
November 19th: Litchfield High School,  Mental Health Careers
December 12th: Keynote at Central Minnesota School Counselors Winter Conference (joined by Cynthia Packer) Trauma, Resiliency,  & Inclusion;  Breakout Session, DIRT GROUP,  Implications for Practice: Achievement, Inclusion, Competence, and Contribution




What a GREAT turnout! ! !

WOW!!! I am humbled and nearly speechless (ok, I know that’s hard to believe : ) but what an ABSOLUTE AMAZING group of folks attending my workshop at the Minnesota Association for School Age Children Conference–and filled to the gills! ! Thank you for your wonderful reception, attention, energy, and response! ! Your students are lucky to have you! ! ! I am humbled.

Inclusion & Education! !


Heading into presentation on DIRT GROUP, social inclusion,  and implications for practice in educational settings including academic credits for Alternative Learning Programs! ! !
Minnesota Association for School Age Children Super Saturday Conference
@ Calvary Lutheran Church Golden Valley,  MN

HO HO HO ! ! ! !


Just picked up boughs for wreath making with DIRT GROUP participants!  We will be providing experiential group skills training for targeted skill areas of following instructions,  cooperation, doing good quality work, . on task, completing tasks, perseverance, listening to others, displaying appropriate control, demonstrating appreciation, accepting ‘no’ for an answer, dealing with frustration, interrupting appropriately, etc! WITH TANGIBLE RESULTS! ! !

GARLIC & 10 inches of SNOW in Minnesota! ! !

Garlic planted…mulched with straw… and covered with a 10 inch blanket (of SNOW!!!) for the winter!!! Planning ahead, being patient, perseverance, being hopeful, believing in something we can’t see yet, and looking forward to harvesting next July!!! (2015) YEAH!!! DILIGENT EFFORT PRODUCE TANGIBLE RESULTS! ! ! ( and will be used in our chicken sausages next summer as well as saving for seed for 2016!!! What a ripple effect!!




Kenny Turck, MSW, LGSW
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"Growing to Learn…Learning to Grow"


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