As luck would have it, my boys just finished up a week at "farm camp". They came home dirtier than I have ever seen them and with quite a few scrapes and bruises. I worried about lack of structure and/or supervision through out the week and bemoaned the 30 minute commute to and from the camp. At the end of the week, though, I realized "farm camp" was one of the best things I've ever done for my children.
Sure, I have my own micro farm at home but it is not quite the same. It is run by Mom, instead of Farmer Tom. It has chickens but no ducks, no duck pond, no pig named Olivia or goat named Lady and, well, the list continues. It is not adjacent to open space. There are not mature trees here from which ropes hang or a grove where forts are built from found sticks - though we're working on the last one.
For my child who struggles in school and with the constraints of suburban life, it was a week of freedom. A week where deficits became strengths. For my child who thrives in the life of densely populated, he grew, learned to explore and get dirty. And for me, I felt the joy in watching my kids have just another day at the farm.
Treasures brought home from farm camp.
We'll see you again next summer. (Unless we're doing a Farm Stay or a dude ranch, which technically qualifies as Agritourism!).
** Click here for the CBS News Report on summers at the farm.
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