Summer Camp Details

Farm Camp: fresh, organic summer fun!

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!

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 12:1 camper-to-instructor ratio and are also joined by at least one support volunteer for the entire week.

2023 Summer Camp Sessions

Fields & Forests

Ages
7-11

Dates
June 26-30
July 3-7* 
(no camp July 4th)
August 14-18

Time
9am—3pm

Price
$450
*$360 (4 day session)

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 around the farm, experience the thrill of finding cool bugs and critters, trek around the forest, and get your feet wet in the Snoqualmie! Engage your hands and tastebuds alike through berry feasting, sprout tending, and more! Make new friends hiking on trails, dig into your farming journey alongside our farmers, explore with conservation scientists, and more. Share your knowledge with other excited campers and learn more about the nature of your food. 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
July 24-28
August 7-11

Time
9am—3pm

Price
$450

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. There will be a chance to cook up some classic farm recipes, experiment with fresh flavors, and even develop some recipes of your own. Engage your tastebuds and brains alike as we explore different methods and techniques of cooking, and how to preserve the bounty of our mid-summer harvest. You will build your culinary 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!  The week closes with a camper-led, free farmers’ market full of fun and tasty surprises for the whole family! 


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!


Spring & 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.

All Oxbow Camp staff are certified in adult and children First Aid and CPR, though we do not have a nurse on site and therefore Oxbow staff/volunteers cannot administer internal medications  

including over-the-counter items. We understand many of our campers may have health conditions which require medication during their time at camp. Our registration questions include an inquiry on each campers’ medical history with opportunity to list medications and specific care instructions, which is shared with relevant instructors. If your child has an epi-pen or Benadryl (diphenhydramine) for allergic reactions or uses an inhaler for asthma, we ask that the child always carry it in their daypack. It is the parent/guardian’s responsibility to check with their camp instructor during drop-off and let them know where it is in case of emergency. If you have any additional questions, please contact us at camp@oxbow.org.

 
 

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.

There is so much for kids to do at Oxbow! As campers arrive, they will choose a morning activity and transition into the day. All campers then meet as a group for opening circle and receive a daily theme to explore. Most of the day is spent within a small group led by one of our instructors and trained volunteers, keeping a 1:12 instructor-to-camper ratio. Each day has a few pre-planned activities centered around the week’s theme, sometimes including a special guest leading a project or lesson. For the rest of the day, camp instructors leave space for kid-led fun and guide campers through team building games and nature exploration. Oxbow has hiking trails, a living playground and climbing tractor, farm fields to explore, two wetland ecosystems, and countless other crafts and activities for campers to enjoy. 

Above all, our 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. 

Camper quote: “This is the most creative farm 

Our counselors are trained in helping campers make new friends, but we are happy to honor group requests as much as we’re able. Group requests will be honored ONLY if both parties list each other as requests on their camp registrations, and we can accommodate camp grouping requests for one or two “buddies”. While we will do our best to accommodate these requests, we cannot guarantee that this will occur.

Note: camp groups are generally divided by age, so only friends/siblings of similar ages are likely to be grouped together without request. 

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. Visiting hours are updated on our website here. 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. 

We love it when campers’ families and other adults want to get involved with camp too! This is a wonderful opportunity to learn more about our thematic camp topics and enjoy your summer outside in the Snoqualmie Valley. We are looking for potential volunteers, 15 years old and up and ideally with some experience working with children, to spend a week (or more!) supporting camp groups during Summer Camp. We generally pair parents/guardians/siblings with a different group from their camper for the week, to offer independence for the campers and let adults focus on supporting their camp group as much as possible. If you are interested and want to learn more, contact our volunteer coordinator at volunteer@oxbow.org and check out our website: www.oxbow.org/get-involved/volunteer  

Note: at this time we’re not looking for volunteers for our spring camp!

While masking is encouraged for any campers/staff who have concerns about exposing themselves or others to airborne illness, we will not require any campers to wear masks while at camp.  We will continue to implement rigorous hygiene, health and safety procedures and policies during all our camp sessions, and will adjust our safety policies based on King County/Washington State Department of Health recommendations, and clearly communicate any changes before they are implemented.  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 11-15: We’re excited to launch our Spring Farm Camp for older, more focused environment enthusiasts. It will be a practical experience, diving into farming, food systems, and conservation. Spots are limited – you can register on our website here.

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

If you plan to register your camper for multiple weeks, we recommend choosing two different camp themes. Each week of camp is intended to be a standalone camp experience. We strive to provide similar opportunities to all of our campers, so many planned activities and daily topics will be consistent from one week to another within the themes. By choosing two different themes, you’re providing us a chance to better engage all campers and share new experiences with your child. Thank you in advance!

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 >>

Oxbow Members receive a 10% discount for all camp programs! Be sure that you’re logged in before registering to make sure your discount is applied. Read more about our membership program here 

In the past, OxEd has offered a sibling discount if two siblings attend the same session, but we have decided to prioritize our sliding scale program going forward. If you are a family who was planning on utilizing the sibling discount code this year, we encourage you to opt-in for a sliding scale option instead. If none of the options work for your family, please reach out to us at camp@oxbow.org. 

Yes, if a camp session is full, you can still register and be added to our waitlist. If anyone cancels or changes their session we’ll reach out to you to inform you of the new opening and help you with your registration process. 

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.