I am having the most wonderful time helping to teach the Farm Camp at Green Gate Farms in East Austin. At the end of every day I feel exhausted (far too exhausted to do much of anything at all, let alone something ambitious like go out for the evening or something!), yet also elated.
As young participants in the operations of an actual working farm, the kids are learning a wide range of skills: harvesting veggies and also calculating the money value of their harvest; estimating a pig's weight; gathering eggs; caring for flower and herb garden; discovering wild grapes and picking only the ripest ones for our "solar oven grape jelly"!
They are becoming quite expert in how to keep themselves cool without air conditioning. How to use water multiple times, with maximum efficiency. How to carefully observe their environment and record their observations in writing and pictures.
And throughout, they're developing self-reliance and personal responsibility; empathy for all creatures; expressing themselves constructively; getting along with kids of many ages.
I hear that many of the kids are repeat campers, returning for several sessions and also coming back year after year. I love seeing them each find their own favorite spots on the farm, favorite animals, new friends. And it's so refreshing to see kids savor an experience that involves no electronics whatsoever!
And I like that there's plenty of "down time" built in for those who want it. Lounging in the hammock, cooling off in the stock tank, or just sitting on a quilt.
This session of camp (week 2) will be winding up this Friday. Week 1 and Week 2 were both totally maxed out attendance. But I hear we still have a few spaces available for weeks 3 and 4 - next week and the week after. For more info, you can visit www.greengatefarms.net
Spread the word to anyone you know who might be looking for an exciting, sweet, and memorable summer educational experience for their kids!