The Daily Dirt

Newest fun summer camp trend: Homesteading!

soulshineBy Kate Karassik, SoulShine Sprouts Director

Growing up, my summer camp experiences revolved gluing wood parts together in an arts and crafts barn and acing my canoeing test.  These days, kids have more options – Space camp, Wild Animal Encounter Camps, Horseback Riding. Those are all well and good, but Farm to School themed camps are popping up – and they promise fun times
and real skills that kids will love using every day.

SoulShine Sprouts, an Atlanta preschool that focuses on teaching sustainability and homesteading skills to children, is now enrolling for Summer Camp for kids aged 4- 12 years of age and will feature exciting weekly themes including, Farming, Bee Keeping, The Medicine Wheel, Herbal Remedies, DIY activities, Field Trips all over Atlanta, and much much more.

This camp is really special because kids get dirty, make real connections to nature and others, and spend their day being physically active all while learning lifelong skills. Last year, we had a kid who had never seen a farm animal and by the end of the summer had convinced his parents to house four chickens of their own.

We believe every child is an individual universe with skills and creativity of their own. We allow them to explore their own strengths and interests and cultivate a unique learning experience through this. The children learn from the camp counselors, as well as each other.

“I chose farming entrepreneurship, food accounting, and food justice to share the other side of the story and help youth gain a deeper understanding, maybe even gratitude, to all the resources it takes to nutritiously feed ourselves and our community,” said Andrea Zoppo, the SoulShine homesteading teacher known as “Ms. Lady Bug” to her students. “I am excited to see children help the farmers load and unload their trucks for markets, see how organizers set up a farmers market, and learn how produce is moved, stored, and packaged to get to consumers. The medicine wheel is a theme that opens the imagination, the history books, and a sense of self reliance. In a time where allergies are like boogie monsters to children (and parents), having a sense that there maybe healing alternatives to the poking and prodding of our sterile medical system. If we can just open their sense of wonder.. we achieve so much.”

You can check out all the summer themes at SoulShine here. We’ve heard of a few other farm to school themed camps:

There are also a couple of traditional summer camps that feature edible gardens and farms as part of their program, such as Camp Twin Lakes and 4-H Rock Eagle Camp.

If you have one that you’d like to share, let us know in the comments!

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