Lately it is hard to tell what season it is here on the Farm some days but one thing is for certain – no matter what season it is, Fernbrook Farms Education Center provides camp days to help get kids unhooked from the tv, video games, computers and iPods and plugged into nature.
Our first day of Winter Camp on Martin Luther King, Jr Day was a wonderful mix of outdoor fun, animal time, relaxing by the crackling fireplace and enjoying special winter activities. We hiked through an area of Fernbrook forest that is rarely explored during summer camp and even found an animal skull along the way! Based on the size, location it was found and type of teeth it has, the group of camper detectives settled on a young fox as their conclusion. It is now on the well-known Discovery Table in the Kerney Learning Barn for all to see. The weather was cold but not frigid and the campers discovered lots of fascinating ice designs and even some interesting sounds made by ice on the irrigation pond. Other activities for the day included: feeding the animals, roasting marshmallows over the fire in the cottage, making winter bird feeders to hang in the Fernbrook Rain Garden and on the Great Lawn, played a survival game and stayed warm!
We have more Winter Break Camp to come on President’s Day Feb 20th, 2012 when students are off of school and Spring Break Camp is scheduled for April 9th, 10th, 11th as well as April 23rd and 24th, 2012 to accommodate all our faithful summer camp families. For more details about what we do during Winter and Spring Break Camps, visit the Education Center website. Registration forms can be printed and mailed to reserve a spot for your child(ren) to plug into nature with us during a day off of school. Doesn’t it make parents want to take the day off and explore Fernbrook with us also?!?!
And if all this camp talk hasn’t gotten you excited enough about spending time at Fernbrook, maybe a little reminiscing will help with a 2011 Summer Camp Video. It’s worth the time and makes us laugh every time but you might need your campers to interpret the inside jokes so have them join you to watch these summer camp memories!
We hope to see you soon at Fernbrook Farms Education Center!
This Fall Fernbrook Farms Education Center continued our Unit of Study program
which isa non-profit organization that helps educate teachers & students in Trenton school about how to take control of their own physical environment and personal health. This fall Mr. Jim Simon and I educated over 200 students about Forest Ecology; concentrating on understanding the importance of forests, both for wildlife and for humans. We worked in three schools; Mercerville Elementary, Village Charter School, and Washington Elementary
This program is unique in the way that we spend a total of 4 days with the students and teachers in their school and on the farm. The first day we visit the school and spend about 40-60 minutes in each participating class teaching them about what a forest is and playing an interactive, educational game. By playing the game the students learn about the basic needs of animals and how the health of the forest has an effect on population growth. On the second day we introduce the parts of a tree and how a tree works by having the students participate in the Tree Factory activity. The third day is a field trip to Fernbrook Farms where they move between four investigation stations, including a Tree ID Hike, Soil Investigation, Wildlife Hike, and Forestry Techniques station. In all of these stations the kids learn with hands-on experiential learning activities. Some highlights of the field trip stations have been finding a garter snake during the wildlife hike, investigating FBI (fungus, bacteria, and invertebrate) in our compost pile, tapping a Red Maple tree for Maple syrup, identifying at least 10 trees around Fernbrook Farms, and lastly just enjoying the wonders of the great outdoors. On the fourth and final day Mr. Jim and I return to the school for a follow- up where we review what the students discovered on their field trip, and what they liked or didn’t like about Fernbrook Farms. We also read the Dr. Seuss classic The Lorax and review the importance of a forest and understanding the impact of humans on forests. The most rewarding part of this program comes when Mr. Jim and I receive the “thank you” letters, drawings, and gifts from the students showing us how much this experience has taught them, and how we have affected their life in so many positive and memorable ways.
This program continues in the spring of 2012 and we hope to connect with many more students of Trenton. We plan to focus on Wetlands Ecology. The students will visit our Pond, Creek, Meadow, and take a Watershed Forest Hike. Can’t wait to explore Fernbrook Farms in Spring 2012!
Come join us on Sunday May 8th, 2011 at Fernbrook Farms for a Mother’s Day Brunch at the Inn at Fernbrook! Two seatings at 10am and 12:30pm will be catered by Main Street Catering of Princeton, NJ and half the proceeds go to the Fernbrook Farms Education Center to benefit our Urban Youth Program. This is a great opportunity to treat Mom (or Grams or Aunt Sally or a friend) to a catered meal with complimentary flower AND benefit a great cause. You can also walk the wedding gardens in beautiful spring bloom, visit the barn animals, and take a wagon ride tour of the Farm.
RSVP required! Email Claire@fernbrookfarms.com for more information or registration forms.
Lydia, the animal farmer and Toddler Program instructor, just came in to tell us that another lamb arrived this morning. Unfortunately the mother isn’t producing milk for it yet, so Lydia is bringing over sheep’s milk substitute. So now we have 3 little lambs scampering around the barnyard.