Farm animals, food, crafts, and a creek – it’s time for Rural Resources’ summer Farm Day Camp!
In fact, two more sessions of Farm Day Campers scampered through Rural Resources’ Holly Creek farm over the last couple of weeks. Children from Pre-K through third grade took part in two sessions: Too Much Farm Fun Camp and Little Sprouts Camp.
“I’ve milked a cow,” 7-year-old Corinne Southerland said, with a grin. “It was pretty cool. And I’ve played a lot of games.”
Corinne’s big sister Grace, a seventh-grader, volunteered to help with the younger children in the Too Much Farm Fun session. Anticipating the start of her own FDC session, she talked about last year’s memorable camp moments.
“Last year we went to Paint Creek,” Grace said. “And we went canoeing on the Nolichucky. That was my favorite! It was my first time in a canoe.”
The opportunity to try new things is one of the things that keeps kids coming back, year after year. But Doak Elementary School teacher Margaret Ayers, who was there with her daughter, said there are many good reasons for kids to come to camp.
“Being around the animals and being able to feed them,” Ayers said. “Just even being around the creek. These are things that kids don’t get to do every day. They see where food comes from and how animals live. Their understanding of food isn’t just from the grocery store.”
Ayers also said she thinks this kind of an experience makes kids more compassionate to animals and each other, and opens the door to new friendships.
“They’re all from different schools, so they’ve made new friends who have similar interests,” She said. ”I think it’s a great camp.”
Sissy Rabern’s son, Wolfgang, participated in the Little Sprouts camp.
“It’s a lot better than sitting inside, to actually get out and do stuff, like figure out where milk comes from,” Rabern said. “He absolutely loves it.”
Doak Elementary School teacher Nick Baumann led the sessions and said he believes that tuning into students’ interest levels and keeping things fun is the key to successful summer learning at Farm Day Camp.
“The highlight for most campers is probably creek time,” said Baumann, as Ben, a Little Sprout, climbed onto the creek bank cradling a freshwater shellfish in his hands.
“I think they’re having a good time,” he said, taking the tiny creature from Ben’s cupped hands and giving him a sprout-sized biology lesson.
Perhaps wide-eyed wonder and unending opportunities for discovery are the best reasons of all to come to Farm Day Camp.