Farm Camp this summer at our farm!!

I have been having a whole lot of fun lately. I am planning a week long day-camp at our farm this summer for 8 high school girls. It's basically my dream summer camp...exactly what I would love to do (and not do.) So there will be no spinning-our-foreheads-around-a-baseball-bat relays. But there will be lots of creative projects- embroidery hoops, mixed media collages, and daily baking or preserving. Every night each camper will go home with something edible to share with their family.

Mostly, I'm so excited to get the ears of these girls and to pour some dreams and hopes into their hearts. The decisions that a girl makes from ages 15-25 will have implications and consequences for the rest of their lives. These years are so, so important for keeping an eye on the big picture, and not just the immediate and instant. So we will talk about all sorts of topics from finding life-giving, supportive friends, wisdom in dating, the gift of marriage and the joy of one day having their own family. What fun to get to dream big dreams together! And what a gift to have time to seek the Lord and spend time listening to his voice in these matters.

And then there is the farm! We'll be working in the garden (not a lot, but enough to learn about weeding and good soil and growth) and with the animals (we'll milk the goat and make goat milk soap, spend time with the sheep, feed the pigs and we are hoping to have eggs hatching the week the girls are here in our new egg incubator). Everything we learn about on the farm will be connected to scriptures that highlight God's ways. This winter we have carved out two afternoons a week when I am writing the curriculum I will be teaching (or the girls will be reading) and I cannot wait! It's so rich! As always, I feel like I am the first student, soaking up these lessons as I learn and am so excited to pass these truths along.

I am envisioning a varied group of girls. Some might be from the city, with no experience on a farm at all. And maybe even no actual interest! But I want these girls to feel the welcome of a family farm and to experience a week here, sort of like when I visited my Grandma's farm growing up. I was definitely a city mouse, but am so grateful I had so many family farms (aunts and uncles) to visit throughout my childhood. Some girls might be from around this area and just interested in a summer camp that is closer to home or that lets them sleep in their own bed each night! (That would have been me growing up.)

And others might feel like they would love to live on a farm one day, but don't live on one now. I have two good friends from church who came to our farm last summer to help me, a junior and senior in high school. Both of them lived in town and one told me, "I just have this feeling I am going to be a missionary one day in a country where I will need to grow my own food and I want to start learning." (Talk about life vision and goals!!!) And the other told me, "I just want to learn how to garden and preserve my food and see how you do it all as a mom." Their visits were an absolute highlight of my summer and got me dreaming of this day camp that I am calling Farm Camp. I see the need, and I understand the gift of living this lifestyle for a short time to help cast a big and full vision for the campers that come. (Obviously they won't all move to a farm! But maybe they'll take an interest in gardening. Or making their own pickles from grocery store cucumbers.)

Can you tell I'm excited? It's really fun to tap into my former life as a Bible Camp program director and to see how God is creatively merging my life as a mother and farmer with camp ministry.

So one afternoon Rory and I made this spiffy little promo video. We had the kids upstairs playing in the bedroom, kept quiet by a sleeve of club crackers, and quickly recorded this baby in one shot. I didn't rehearse what I would say and in the end I think it does a fine job communicating the heart of this camp. As one who has never been able to take a selfie, this was a very awkward experience for me, but whatever. Hopefully it will help spread the word!

If you know of anyone who may be interested, send them my way! A full rundown of our topics from day to day can be found at this link on The Grovestead website. I am so excited for the week we will have together. It is going to be full of worthwhile experiences, conversations and teachings. Plus, it's just so great to think about summer, isn't it?!!

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