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For anyone who’s lucky enough to live on or have visited a working farm, you know every day can be a crazy adventure. (Kind of like learning how to spatchcock a chicken.) Whether it’s escaping from angry hens as you collect eggs, eating fresh veg from the garden or spending a relaxing hour with the cows, the experience is even sweeter for kids. That’s why we’re loving the camps below–they give young ones a chance to garden and explore!
The Country School Farm: Backs Mills, Ohio
The Country School Farm is nestled in Ohio’s hills and valleys, where the Amish have lived for more than a century. (Hopefully the campers get to eat an Amish-inspired breakfast!) Your kids will milk animals, garden, harvest hay, gather berries, care for livestock and walk along the trails. The campers also sleep on a farmhouse’s screened-in sleeping porch, which we absolutely love.
For ages 6 to 12.
Frost Valley YMCA Farm Camp: Claryville, NY
At Frost Valley YMCA Farm Camp, kids get to take care of animals, plant and harvest vegetables and learn how to choose healthy foods, all on a 515-acre working farm. The camp does focus on farming, but kids also do the usual summer camp stuff like swimming, arts and crafts, boating and sports. It’s the best of both worlds!
For kids entering grades 2 to 10.
Angelic Organics Learning Center: Caledonia, Ill.
Free-range campers at Angelic Organics Overnight Farm Camp collect eggs, feed and water goats and chickens, plant seedlings, turn the compost piles and pull weeds. They also harvest food for meals, which are prepared from fresh ingredients grown at this and other local farms. (Yum!) Campers can also explore nature on the camp’s 200 acres, make ice cream from the farm’s ingredients and enjoy campfires in the evening.
(For a taste of that experience at home, here’s how to make vanilla ice cream–with or without an ice cream maker.)
For ages 8 to 14.
Birch Creek Service Ranch: Spring City, Utah
Set in rural Utah, Birch Creek Service Ranch’s teenage campers learn independence, build community and develop resiliency. Kids spend mornings on farm work and community service. The afternoons offer time for things like soccer, rock climbing, hiking, woodworking and ceramics.
With your teenagers at sleepaway camp, you’ll need our must-try summer meals for two!
For ages 12 to 15.
123 Farm: Cherry Valley, Calif.
123 Farm takes its name from the three growing seasons it enjoys, thanks to more than 300 sunny days each year. Every morning begins with feeding and watering the chickens, sheep and cows. Then, activities change up based on the day. Campers might process wool, collect eggs, make ice cream and butter or check on the honeybees. (123 Farm sounds pretty good for parents, if you ask us!)
For ages 6 to 13.