Summer Camp Registration is Open!
The education department was forced to deviate from the usual diverse program offerings this year and made the very difficult decision to cancel all 8 weeks of summer camp back in the spring. After mourning the idea of not having campers making homemade pesto, playing Predator vs. Prey, and exploring on the farm we knew we had to find some way to connect with kids and continue our education mission.
The first iteration of this was our Nature Journal Club, a two-month long series of video prompts and Zoom meetings back when we were first figuring out how to stay connected from afar. (Practicing experiential education remotely is as hard as it sounds.) We had a wonderful group of nature journalists eager to get out into their backyards and tell us all about what they discovered. During this time we watched the case numbers in Vermont and New Hampshire carefully and as they stayed low our Lead Educator and I tackled the tricky question of how to bring kids to the farm safely.
The result was the Family Adventure Package, a combination of a camp kit “to go” plus optional on-site visits with campers and their families, during which time we operated with two educators and a maximum of 6 visitors at a time. We stayed outdoors entirely, maintained physical distance, and remained masked. The program was safe and fun for everyone involved.
Through the Family Adventure Package (as well as the Homeschool sessions we were able to offer this fall), we got some good practice, ultimately, for how to run a safe and fun summer day camp. Armed with hand sanitizers of all scents, pool noodles to keep a safe distance playing tag, and spare masks to replace the inevitably soggy ones, we now feel poised to lead a 10-week summer camp season that still keeps the curious nature and passion for stewardship of Cedar Circle Farm’s typical day camp, now more deeply rooted in keeping our community safe.
While we are still unsure about what the next 6 months will bring, we have deeper reserves of hope than existed earlier this year, and we are excited to launch our camp registration. This is not to say that we have not all experienced deep losses of all kinds this year, but I hope you can find some moments where your resiliency, and the resiliency of others, has surprised you.
Education Programs Manager/Summer Camp Director