Green Power

Summer Camp

IMG_1243Summer Camp

Summertime…Or, Oops I forgot to sign up for camp! While most of you have camps already in progress, you just might be looking to fill in an odd week here or there. There are still tons of options – not to worry!

Camp Seekers.com

Campseekers makes summer scheduling easier by giving parents a targeted list of summer camp sessions that meet specific criteria.

You can search for camp by location, date and camp type (i.e. sports) to find camp sessions that meet specific criteria – you can then filter by activity (i.e. soccer) or age to find the camp sessions that best fit their summer goals.

Currently, Campseekers includes approximately 250 camps representing close to 10,000 sessions in the greater Boston area. It is completely free to become a member of Campseekers.

Land’s Sake

Our family has loved this camp for many years. Low-key, educational, fun and in the dirt. What could be better? From the site: Kids learn about gardening and farm ecosytems, care for our chickens and rabbits, explore, and create! From kindergarten to high school, our experienced and highly trained educators lead exciting, age appropriate activities all summer long.

Environmental Science Program

From the site:
The Envi Sci program combines fun outdoor activities with learning about the environment. Each year it builds on the “peer education” principle by having the student leaders design, develop, and deliver the materials that the students use. New students are encouraged to return and become leaders in subsequent years, continuing the thread of responsibility for care and teaching about the environment.

A typical activity would be a hike to an area of interest, often in Newton but sometimes elsewhere, such as the Arnold Arboretum. Other activities range from bicycle trips to night walks for learning about nocturnal wildlife. We go on a 12-mile canoe trip on the Charles River, and we take water samples to report on the water quality. The learning materials for each day may cover ecology, geology, botany, pollution issues, or other areas that the student leaders select.

Each year there is an environmental cleanup project in which participants get hands-on involvement with improving an environmental sit

Learnivore (Build your own camp)

Find an Instructor

Search and message instructors directly, or create a Request and let them come to you.

Get to know each other; and if the fit is good, schedule your lesson. Take a lesson (or two) online, at home, at your instructor’s studio.

Find Classes Get inspired. Just sign in, and you’ll be able to see every new class that’s created in your area in your activity feed.

 

There are also great city and town camps – check with your town – Newton Community Education is where I generally start.

A Camp With A Purpose and It’s Green, too.

sunflowers lands sake weston post capability mom

Hail to the Pollinators Pastel, Larry Grob Land's Sake Farm Weston MA
Hail to the Pollinators, Larry Grob

Green Power Camp – Land’s Sake Farm in Weston

This summer has been full of surprises, not all good, like the blue green algae on the Charles that cancelled my daughter’s sailing classes (okay, postponed them). On short notice, she needed a Plan B. Enter Teenlife.com (a great resource we have used time and again) and I pulled up a link to Land’s Sake (another family favorite for pick your own flowers, berries and veggies).

Here is the description from Land’s Sake:

The Green Power Summer Youth Program at Land’s Sake farm is focused on learning about sustainable agriculture, food justice, and community through hard work. This work includes weeding, planting and harvesting on our organic farm, leading farm tours, maintaining our education garden, community service and cooking a community meal. In addition to being a great learning opportunity, Green Power teaches the value of meaningful work by giving participants the chance to earn a stipend from the work they do at the farm. Join Land’s Sake and work hard while having fun!

Here is the dirt (pun intended) from the first teen’s week.

Monday: The teens got to know each other, learned about taking care of small animals (goats and chickens), and harvested part of the garlic crop. Messy work. My teen was covered with a soft brown dusting of dirt and really happy about it, too. We still have fresh garlic.

Tuesday: The group traveled to Jamaica Plain to Community Servings to help prepare meals for chronic and critically ill patients and their families. Land’s Sake farmers donated collard greens which were packaged that day as well. They listened to a podcast of Michael Pollan on NPR on the drive there and back. Did I say I love this camp?

Wednesday (the Fourth of July): They harvested bok choy, peas, and carrots for a CSA to be delivered to low income families through a partnership between Horizons for Homeless Children and Community Servings.

Thursday: They were leaders during the Kid’s Café Program. This program enables kids from Greater Boston Boys and Girls Clubs to come out to the farm. The teen campers took them around the farm – garden, chickens, bees, the magic tree, goats and going for a ride on the bicycle-blender!).

Friday: Chef Ellen Touart-Grob helped to plan, cook, and serve up a delicious farm-inspired meal including Chilled Pea Soup, Fresh Summer Rolls, and Herbed Pop-overs!

Doesn’t this sound wonderful? The program also pays the teens a percentage of the profit from Land’s Sake farm stand based on quality of their work through week. Love that, too.

Teen 2 is going to this camp next and I will fill you in on her week.

I forgot to add that I received a hand-written note in the mail, thanking me for sending my child to the camp from the new Executive Director of Land’s Sake, Ed Barker (and it was on a gorgeous pastel of the beehives of the farm. Really). I wanted to write a thank you note for the thank you note, but you know where that leads. So I will write it here.

 

Dear Mr. Baker,

As a mom of two teen girls, we have been in some pretty terrific camps over the years, but none so wonderful as the camp at Land’s Sake. The program is thoughtfully planned, wonderfully executed and combines good values, community service, education, work, fresh air and fun.

I have never received a handwritten thank you note from one of them. I applaud your lovely camp program, your wonderful staff, your fantastic farm and your good manners.

With great appreciation,

 

Nancy Brown

 

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