Summer Camp 2022 Details

Farm Camp: fresh, organic summer fun! 

Experience a unique outdoors summer in nature at Oxbow Farm & Conservation Center’s Summer Camp.

Across all sessions, campers will experience:  

  • Storytelling, songs, and team building  
  • Hands-on activities and crafts 
  • Nature games and creative play  
  • Exploration of the Worm Towers 
  • Harvesting and eating fresh farm foods  
  • A  hayride  tour of our organic production farm  
  • Fun in the great outdoors, all day long, rain and shine! 

Yes, Oxbow is a real, operating farm!

Our one-acre Kids’ Farm and one-of-a-kind Living Playground are built, planted, and maintained with kids in mind. Our Summer Camp instructors, all CPR/First Aid certified, are trained in inquiry-based environmental education and in facilitating nature connections for children of all ages. Camp groups maintain a 10:1 camper-to-instructor ratio and are also joined by at least one support volunteer for the entire week.

2022 Summer Camp Sessions

Farmer Seedlings

Ages
7-11

Dates
Monday, June 27—Friday, July 1
Tuesday, July 5—Friday, July 8*

Time
9am—3pm

Price
$380
*$320 (4 day session)

Seedlings, put on your summer hats and roll up your sleeves; you’re going to be farmers all week long! Learn the ins and outs of what it takes to grow flowers and food from seed, to harvest, to tummy. Explore different habitats and meet some of our dearest decomposer pals, like worms and roly-polies. Engage your hands and tastebuds alike through berry feasting, sprout tending, and more!

Beyond worms and berries, you’ll dig into your farmer journey by helping care for our Pollinator Hotel, harvesting your snacks, learning from our farm experts, and practicing using REAL farm tools!

The week closes with a camper-led, free farmers’ market full of fun and tasty surprises for the whole family!


Chef Sprouts

Ages
7-11

Dates
Monday, July 18—Friday, July 22
Monday, July 25—Friday, July 29

Time
9am—3pm

Price
$380

Sprouts, get ready to experiment with unique flavor combinations and collaborate with fellow young foodies to cook up delicious dishes with Oxbow staff and expert chefs.

You will build your cooking skills in a safe and supportive environment, prepare and taste farm-fresh cuisine, and test fun and unique ways to cook healthy food for humans—while learning about the nourishment needs of our animal neighbors and farm fields, too!


Adventure Buds

Ages
7-11

Dates
Monday, Aug. 8—Friday, Aug. 12
Monday, Aug. 15—Friday, Aug. 19

Time
9am—3pm

Price
$380

Adventurers, experience the thrill of finding cool bugs and critters, trek around the forest, get your feet wet in the Snoqualmie River, or lean against a Bigleaf Maple trunk and listen to rustling leaves! Find your special place and take on new challenges exploring the lesser-known corners of Oxbow.

You’ll make new friends while hiking on trails at camp, and learn to identify and track our animal neighbors’ paw prints (or claw prints!). You can taste wild edible plants, meet our habitat conservation scientists, and more. Share your plant and animal knowledge with other excited campers and learn how interconnected the wilderness and farms like Oxbow are.

Sneak peek of a day at Farm Camp

No two days are the same at summer camp

We love following children’s curiosity and intuition and have a wide variety of activities to play, learn, and sprout together. A few camper favorites include:

  • Holding worms
  • Constructing fairy homes
  • Exploring Oxbow trails and playing in the mud
  • Making raspberry-based body paint
  • Creating yummy smoothies with our unique Bike Blender
  • Wandering our Living Playground vine tunnels

 

Campers, you will get to harvest and snack throughout the day as we move around to learn about farming techniques, veggies, native plants, and conservation from special guests. Experts play, show, and explain—helping you understand what goes on a real-life farm and conservation center. You can bring home some yummies, so your friends and family can learn what farm-fresh veggies taste like too!

Through free-play and guided activities, you can learn new concepts, create secret codes, and search for different ways the ecosystem is related to YOU.

There will also be an opportunity to showcase and share your talents with other campers! So if you have something you’d like to share, start getting ready. It’s going to be good!


Summer Camp FAQs

For Parents and Guardians

Yes! Our farm grows produce for local grocery stores, restaurants, and for hunger relief. We believe that the authenticity of our farm is a valuable asset to our mission to educate kids. Kids see BIG farmers on BIG tractors in BIG fields doing real farm work, and it’s a great opportunity for them to start to understand where their food comes from. 

Our 1-acre certified organic Kids’ Farm is separate from our production farm, and is used exclusively by—you guessed it—kids! This “demonstration farm” allows our littlest farmers to experience hands-on cultivating and harvesting in a safe and accessible space. The Kids’ Farm is adjacent to our Children’s Garden and Living Playground which includes tunnels to explore, a child-friendly tractor to climb on, raised garden beds, a working greenhouse, a picnicking area, and a small, shaded amphitheater, all devoted exclusively to our education programming. 

 
 

Here’s what a prepared camper looks like! Click drawing to enlarge!

  • Hand sanitizer
  • Clean face mask, plus an extra in case one gets dirty
  • Lunch, water, and substantial snacks brought in low waste containers and a reusable water bottle
  • Sunscreen and hat
  • Clothes/layers for inclement weather (we’ll be outside all day) including: rain coat, warm layers, t-shirt for warmer weather, boots for mud, hiking and farming.
  • Extra full change of clothes (shirt, pants/shorts, socks), each item labeled with campers’ name

The biggest thing to remember is that our farm camps take place exclusively outdoors, unless the weather is dangerous (lightning or heavy wildfire smoke, for example). Wear or pack weather-appropriate clothing for the forecast. Use your judgment! 

Please see our weather-related closures policy and other important information here.

Above all, our summer camp curriculum is child-led and play-based. We believe that kids learn by exercising their natural curiosity, and we try to create an environment where each child can learn and self-express in their own way.

For example, an energetic group of seven-year-olds may spend their day playing hide-and-seek in the rhubarb patch, race to collect raspberries to blend into popsicles on the bicycle blender, and search for insects to build a bug city. A group of exuberant nine- and ten-year olds might work together to plant, water, weed, or harvest a row of cabbage if their instructor wants to challenge them to cooperate. A curious group of any age might take a silent walk through a field of cover crop, find a sit spot to observe nature and write in a journal, or make artwork with natural artifacts found on their hike.

Camper quote: “This is the most creative farm

Payment is due at the time of registration. If cost provides a hardship, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. 

Cancellations: Oxbow will retain $75 for administration and processing fees.

Cancellation made 14 days or less prior to the camp session starting date: Oxbow is unable to offer any refunds or credits.

 

Campers are eligible for a full 100% refund for all summer camp programs if:

  • Oxbow cancels or reschedules any summer program due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Families are adversely impacted by COVID-19 (job loss, illness or suspected exposure to COVID-19, caring for sick family members, etc.) and have to cancel their registration.

 

For more details, visit our policies page. 

Absolutely! Our farm is open to the public most Saturdays and Sundays, where you can come to visit, make a picnic, walk our trails, and stop by to get some fresh produce at our Farm Stand. For an opportunity to explore Oxbow in an immersive, exclusive experience, schedule a Family Farm Adventure and join an Oxbow Educator on a fun, educational journey around the farm.

Yes, we’re planning on it!

We will continue to implement our rigorous health and safety procedures and policies for the duration of our camp sessions. We will relax our safety policies only if regional health and safety milestones are met. You can refer to the Oxbow Summer Camp COVID Policies document for our current procedures and policies.

This year we will only be offering summer sessions for children aged 7 through 11. We love having kids of all ages visit Oxbow. However, as our groups have grown, we are making an effort to understand and serve kids better, according to their age group.

For kids 12 and older: We are about to launch a Beta Spring Break Camp for older, more focused environment enthusiasts. It will be a practical experience, diving into farming, food systems, and conservation. Spots are limited, and applications will be open soon. If you’re interested in knowing more, or you would like to apply for this exclusive program, please email education@oxbow.org.

For kids 6 and younger:  High-energy play and intense-question asking deserve an educator’s attention ready to play, engage, and guide them through an exploration of our Farm and Conservation Center at their own pace. We offer a personalized, fantastic adventure around the farm for the whole family! To learn more, visit Family Farm Adventures.

We are proud to share that we have implemented a community-funded sliding scale program. Together, we cover the costs for participants with financial barriers so that all may take part. If none of the options work for your family, don’t let this keep you from experiencing Camp! Reach out to us before registering at education@oxbow.org.

Learn more >>

For Campers

Well, it depends on which session you choose. But you can be sure you will be joining a group of kids, volunteers, and staff who are excited about farming and nature! We will run around, play, learn, make some crafts, and have lots of fun exploring the ins and outs of a real-life farm.

Bugs are a farmer’s best friend. They are an essential part of the environment and even help our plants and crops grow. We’ll learn how to be around them safely, and help you to feel comfortable and confident in the great outdoors.

Always! Our fantastic staff members and volunteers are here to help you at all times; we want you to come as you are, ready to learn new skills and even meet some new friends.

If you need to talk to your parent about something, we can help you get in touch with them. But we promise you will be having so much fun, you won’t even think about it!

We encourage you to leave your toys (or phones/tablets) at home or in the car to avoid distractions or lost items. We understand you might want to bring something to make you feel more comfortable, but we are here for you with a day full of fun activities and friends; let’s give your toys a well-deserved break.

You will bring water and a lunch from home to make sure you have enough energy for the day. And here at the farm, we will harvest some veggies together, try new flavors, and you might even cook some new yummies!

We do not have domestic farm animals at Oxbow, but our property is teeming with life! We frequently see or hear rabbits, frogs, coyotes, snakes (the safe kind), insects, great blue herons, hummingbirds, eagles, and hawks all around our 240 total acres of fields and forest. We have even spotted elusive bobcats and black bears! In their own ways, all of these animals play a part in the work we do here.

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