FARM CAMP: SUMMER 2019
By Lynn Kotrba
This week we completed our fifth week of Harvesting Hope for Others Farm Camp 2019. We are excited to have 14 campers and nine child volunteers this year! The gardens were planted on May 28 and are growing well. It will be exciting to see the abundance as the harvest begins very soon! However, Farm Camp is about much more than the gardens, it is about animals and watching children grow while they experience the wonders of nature! From gardens to pigs and of course our “special” sheep, this year’s campers are building leadership skills that will help them for years to come. After just five weeks, we can already see the confidence and perseverance growing in each child aged 5-13! Watching the campers now go fearlessly, but cautiously, up to the animals is a joy to see after some were clearly afraid during week one.
Speaking of “special”, I want to tell you about some of our “special” campers! This year, we are privileged to have with us a few campers with “different” abilities. These campers are not only learning for themselves, but they are also teaching the adult and child volunteers, as well as the other campers, that no matter how we are made and how we differ from each other, we are all God’s children and have our own “special” abilities. Many thanks to these children and their families for allowing us to learn from them! We are all “special”
One might ask, what is Farm Camp all about? Well, no week is the same. Each week the campers spend time in the gardens weeding and watering, and soon they will be harvesting. Some weeks, they learn about proper care for animals by helping with farm chores or even watching the sheep be vaccinated. The campers also participate in experiential activities, such as sitting on a bucket in the pasture in silence for 10 minutes and drawing what they experience using their five, or six, senses. You would be impressed with the drawing that come out of that experience! Last week, we made homemade ice cream in a bag, a favorite activity each year!
So, there you have it: a little glimpse of Farm Camp 2019. Let us not forget that these campers are also learning to pay it forward to others in need! All produce raised will be given to families experiencing hardship in the Fargo/Moorhead area.