Summer Camp Fun
March 27, 2022
Abby the sheep won the first heat of the 2021 Miles Smith Farm Summer Camp relay race. But June the heifer won the second heat after Abby quit in protest.
The camp is offered by the Learning Networks Foundation, which is the nonprofit element of Miles Smith Farm. For dates and prices, check out this link.
Abby the sheep and June the heifer waited calmly next to their human teammates at the starting line. At the signal, they were off on a relay race. June's team, the Highland Campers, had challenged Abby's team, the Sheep Wranglers, to a relay race. With an animal following behind, each team had to dash around poles, negotiate a sharp turn, and step over a bar on the ground. It was a relay race, farm style. The first heat was a close finish. June lost by inches. This was all part of day-camp fun at Miles Smith Farm.
That fall morning in 2021, the campers learned how to lead a goat, donkey, sheep, and heifer, but not a pig. Tazzy the mini-pig, in her Miss Piggy way, wanted nothing to do with the campers that day. After training, the animals rested while the campers scavenged for vegetables in one of the pastures. Some of the seeds from the vegetables we fed the cattle that spring had worked their way into the rich pasture soil and produced giant pumpkins, squash, and even tomatillos. The kids filled bags of fresh vegetables and gourds to take home.
The Race Is On
Then came the relay race. The eight campers split into two groups and voted on the animal they wanted to run in the race. June and Abby were the favorites and did great in the first heat. Abby decided she'd had enough in the second heat and lay down on the ground in protest. She would not budge. She was done. The campers respected her reluctance and conscripted a more-willing goat to take her place.
Now that spring is here, it's probably time to figure out what the kids will be doing when school lets out. Fifty years ago, Mom and Dad would send the kids to spend a week on their grandparents' farm. They knew the exposure to the land, animals, and the food produced gave the kids a week to remember.
Here's an idea. This year, Miles Smith Farm is hosting two five-day farm-camp sessions that will feature a working farm's comforting rituals and daily rhythms. Instead of interacting with big or little electronic screens, they will be working with Eleanor, the donkey, Abby the sheep, June the heifer, Curious Bleu, the riding steer, Snap the horse, and maybe even Tazzy the moody pig. We'll even have some calves to cuddle.
Summer Day Camp
The camp is offered by the Learning Networks Foundation, which is the nonprofit element of Miles Smith Farm. For dates and prices, check out this link. And here's a hint to prospective campers; don't choose Abby for the relay race.