Farm Camp…so near and dear to our hearts, but we are taking a respite, as farm life is too full at the moment. Still, the dream of Farm Camp II remains, so for those interested in knowing the story of the old times, the old ways, read on…
Our aim was to connect our campers to each other and to their environment through projects relevant and purposeful on the farm. Our curriculum ties STEAAMM concepts (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Agriculture, Music and Math) to existing farm systems in the spirit of play and imagination. Most of what we did was somewhat open-ended in order to let campers own their efforts. Camp Features included horse riding, creek play, straw castles, pigs, bunnies, goats, sheep, chickens, a (chicken) herding dog, and barn cats. Campers had two counselors per six to eight campers with younger groups being smaller. We carefully selected our counselors from the 50 plus youth that we have hired and manage each summer on our blueberry farm.
Farm Camp I: The Beginning Thank you so much to everyone who took the leap of faith with us to make this dream a reality–families who shared the vision of kids learning and playing in the great outdoors (without electronic gadgets!), our wonderful counselors who put so much care into planning and managing activities, parents and friends who volunteered, and family who helped pull it all together. And let’s not forget Lebanon Community Schools for delivering lunches to the campers, as well as B Classic Painting and Remodeling for working hard to get the Reed Schoolhouse exterior painted before the camps. It was pure joy to see the kids not only have fun on the farm, but have fun with each other, and us and the counselors. Even when the rain persisted, the kids had fun playing in the tents, taking shelter under the Oaks, and delighting in the magic of the old Springbank barn.
The Story Behind Farm Camp Farm Camp had many sources of inspiration. Brian grew up on this farm, doing chores, watching and then joining mom and dad in all the work. As it does with many people, it got under his skin and eventually pulled him back from the comforts of the easy life. Michelle, though raised a townie and so familiar only with those non-chores of doing dishes and taking out the garbage, somehow developed a hankering for living off the fat of the land. So, we moved here and started the Great Blueberry Adventure. While the fat has remained elusive, we are drawn to the chase, and love raising the kids here.
Before we moved to the farm, we sent our son Oliver to the Tarnowski’s Farm Camp, in Cherry Grove, Oregon. We loved it, as did all our neighbor friends who sent their kids. When the kids arrived home at the end of a full day of farm camp, they were dirty and exhausted, and full of stories of farm camp favorites. And then there’s the B-Street Permaculture Project / Living History Museum created by Art Professor Terry O’Day, at Pacific University. Amazing, and too much to admire and describe to even start here, but suffice it to say, that Terry and many of her students were incredibly inspiring and helpful.