There’s still time to enroll the kids in green-themed summer camps.
Summer camps everywhere are filling up fast, but slots remain open for camps where the fun and games revolve around food — growing it, that is. Don’t worry: Your kids will not become unpaid farmworkers who are forced to pull weeds and muck out pig stalls. But they will learn how to tend to vegetables and livestock and almost certainly taste the fruits of their labor.
These days, most cities have farm-themed camps in their environs. They typically include more-traditional summer camp activities, such as crafts, sports and outdoor skills. Here’s a small sampling of what’s out there, including both day camp and sleepaway options.
1. Muscoot Farm
This turn-of-the century farm, outside of New York City, offers a half-day Wrangler Camp for kids ages four and five (a livestock-centred experience) and a six-week-long Young Farmers camp for kids in grades one through eight (which includes a range of farm activities). Camps range from $150 for weeklong half-day sessions to $350 for weeklong full-day sessions.
A community-supported agriculture farm with a focus on education, Sproutin’ Up offers skill-building programs for at-risk teens throughout the year, but their summer camp for kids (ages five to 10) is all about fun. In addition to farm activities, the kids spend time at a local climbing gym. Three weeklong half-day sessions are available for $200 each.
3. Farm Camp
Located north of San Francisco, this sleepaway camp spreads out over several hundred acres in the coastal hills of Sonoma County. This is not a place for pampered kids — the lodging is tent-style, with compost toilets and outdoor showers. Numerous sessions are available throughout the summer, including one-, two- and three-week options.
4. Alegre Farm
Your kids will groom a pony, go for a hayride and learn to milk a goat at this camp, outside of Atlanta. Three-day sessions (mornings only) cost $125, and parents can attend with their children for an extra fee.
This sleepaway camp, located midway between Chicago, Milwaukee and Madison, takes place on a 200-acre farmstead with bunk-style housing for the kids. Campers help run the farm during each of five weeklong sessions in summer. There are four sessions open to kids ages eight to 12 and one session for teens. Camps cost $1,050 per session, with payment plans and scholarships available.