Are you ready for an epic summer at Farm and Wilderness? The trees are turning green in Vermont, and summer feels so close. The staff of F&W is already hard at work preparing to make this summer the best one yet. For those who have never been to a summer camp in Vermont, you're in for a treat. A summer with us is filled with joyful play, purposeful work, rugged outdoor living, beautiful scenery, and endless incredible activities. TF Director Kate has been deep in the land of Excel prepping for the summer: “I have been having so much fun with the TF leadership team building out our camp calendar, planning camp magic for our campers, but also for our staff! There's a lot of laughter for three people looking at spreadsheets.” In this blog post, we'll share seven things that Farm & Wilderness has been up to in preparation for the summer.
Preparing the Grounds
One of the essential things the team is doing is getting the grounds ready for the summer. This includes mowing the grass, cleaning up fallen branches, and preparing the cabins for new campers. Led by Jay Kullman, Director of Sustainable Resources, the team is taking advantage of the snow finally melting to get our nearly 104,000 square feet of buildings ready to receive folks this summer. In fact, the entire Farm & Wilderness Year-Round staff will be helping clean those Kybos out!
Hiring Excellent Staff
Another crucial part of preparing for the summer is hiring nearly 250 staff across all our camps. We’re looking for enthusiastic and responsible staff members who can lead activities, mentor campers, and create a fun and safe environment. We’re searching for individuals who are passionate about working with children and who have experience in areas such as arts, trips, construction, and more. We have an incredible team coming together this summer ready to champion each of our campers. BDC Director Emily said it best: “I am excited for the Barn Day Camp staff to share all of their unique skills and talents with campers this summer; we've got musicians, artists, rock climbers, storytellers, boaters, tinkerers, and more!”
Developing our Camp Programs
We’ve also been working on developing our diverse programs for the summer. Farm and Wilderness provides incredible experiences for our campers, and the Camp Directors have been focused on intentionally building those experiences to incorporate teamwork, leadership, and communication skills. “We're planning some awesome updates to the camp program, including the return of Wilderness Adventurers, and, for the first time in about 5 years, bringing back our low ropes course!” SAM Camp Director Adair told us. We know how important it is for our campers to unplug for a bit, and we’ve been working hard to create spaces where campers feel safe, learn, and grow, all while having fun.
Planning Legendary Events
There are so many big events across our camps! From Topsy Turvy Tuesday to Harvest Day to Banquets, Camp Directors are planning special events that will make the summer unforgettable. We want our campers to create memories that will last a lifetime, and each camp has its list of traditional events to do just that. These events might only last a few hours, but they take weeks of planning, even in the off-season, to pull off. Remember, the big events are all about the little details!
Safety is always a top priority for us, especially as we play in the woods. Camp directors are working hard to minimize risk in everything we do, including long hiking trips, lake swimming, fire building, and animal work. The entire F&W staff recently underwent training on our Emergency Action Plan and all levels of support within the organization to respond when needed. With 85 years of experience, F&W knows how to keep campers safe while allowing them to explore and build new skills.
Communicating with Families
Camp directors and our admissions team have been reaching out to families to keep them informed about preparing for summer. We're ready to answer all your questions! We've created podcasts, packing lists, camp walkthroughs, and more to ensure our campers (and their families!) are ready for the summer. Feel free to reach out to us with any needs you have.
Training staff members is another critical part of preparing for summer camp. Camp directors provide training sessions to ensure staff members are prepared to lead activities, mentor campers, and create a safe and fun environment. These sessions cover topics such as conflict resolution, communication skills, and emergency procedures. We provide an industry-leading 20 days of training for our staff, during which they get to know each other, set up camp, and learn everything needed to make the summer great.
We are thrilled for the summer! So much will be happening in the next few weeks to make this an unplugged and unforgettable experience. Directors have been dreaming and planning since staff left last fall, and we can't wait to do it all again. We are incredibly honored to create experiences for your kids and hope you'll continue to be part of Farm & Wilderness for years to come.
Remember, Camp Magic is real y'all!
Jarod “W” Wunneburger
Director of Timberlake & Director of Camps