Thursday, March 17, 2011

Time to Think About Summer?!! April 1st Snowstorm


Most kids are off from school today, enjoying a spring gift from Mother Nature, her own special April Fool's Day joke. We're used to it here, though the warm weather lately has been tricking most of us into thinking that a spring snow was unlikely.

Even though there's snow on the ground, thoughts of warmer weather are permeating most of our minds these days: camping, swimming, gardening, fresh produce, school vacation....

Don't get me wrong, I love winter (the skiing, sledding, warm mugs of cocoa or soup, snowmen & snow forts...), but I long for a blue sky summer day like the one pictured above.

Before I chatter on any further, let me introduce myself. My name is Megan Dunn and I am Co-Directing Broadturn Farm's Camp program this summer. Yes, camp is back!!! After a season long hiatus, John and Stacy have decided to bring camp back, hiring myself and Beatrice Perron Dahlen (whom most of you former farm camp folks will fondly remember from the program in years past) to co-direct the program.

We both bring an educational background to the program, and a love and respect for the natural world and sustainable farming. Bea, as I mentioned above, has worked at Broadturn Farm Summer Camp since 2008, and is currently teaching public pre-kindergarten in Lewiston. I have been a working CSA member at Broadturn farm for three years and am currently completing my student teaching to obtain state certification to teach art to grades K-12. We are both super excited for this summer, and looking forward to all of the energy our young farmers will bring to the program!

In the clutter of my kitchen table, where other camp fliers reside (I have a 12 year old daughter, Isis, who is already asking about activities for the summer- we love for her to have diverse experiences), you'll see our flier and brochure, which we have been distributing to local public places, but there never seems to be enough time (so if all of you could help out and spread the word?...)

So... in your thoughts of summer, here's a little plug for our program! For those of you not familiar, here's a program description:

Broadturn Farm Summer Camp offers age appropriate activities for campers ages four through fourteen. The camp's curriculum focuses on farm and forest ecology, sustainable agriculture, and creative play, and runs from June 20th through August 12th. Half-day programming for the youngest campers ages four and five is structured to include lots of hands on learning and creative play, including feeding the pigs, collecting eggs, making simple recipes, and exploring the woods and stream. Full day programming, offered for older children ages six through nine, allows campers to experience all the workings of a small, organic, working farm and includes campers' participation in simple farm chores such as weeding, picking potato bugs, and planting seedlings.

New this year, Broadturn Farm SummerCamp is offering a pre and young teen program for ages ten through fourteen. During the two week Market Camp session, campers take a more active role in caring for the gardens and animals, harvesting and understanding the more complex aspects of operating a small farm business. The session culminates with a fundraising dinner event which campers design by preparing the menu, cooking the meal, learning about marketing, and budgeting for the event. The fundraising dinner is tentatively scheduled for Wednesday, August 10th

We also are offering a limited number of JC (Junior Counselor) positions this summer for 15-17 year olds, by application only. We're looking for responsible, mature young adults with some experience working with young children, and a willingness to have fun, get dirty, and learn a lot about child development, sustainable agriculture, and farm and forest ecology.

Check out our summer camp page on the Broadturn blog for more detailed information about fees, schedule, registration, and the Junior Counselor program.

For those of you who need just a little more convincing, check out this article that Farmer John found in USA Today which states that "Farm children... are much less likely to develop asthma and allergies than non-farmers... says the study of 933 European children in today's New England Journal of Medicine." For the full article, click here.

Finally, stay tuned for information about a Broadturn Farm Open House, tentatively scheduled for April 30th (we'll keep you posted as we haven't cemented this date yet). Bea and I will be on hand to talk to families about the camp program, and John and Stacy will available to talk with CSA members. We'll be giving tours and celebrating the Spring season!

I look forward to meeting all of you this summer as you visit the farm! Here's a picture of me feeding T-Bone, the farm's newest family member:

Take care and be in touch with any questions,

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