Our Overnight Farm Camp offers hands-on farm experiences for children which help to create memories that last a lifetime! House Campers (ages 8-12) live together in our large farmhouse, and Field Campers (ages 12-16) share a campsite in a shady glen on the farm. Our camp sessions are divided into one-, two- and four-week sessions for ages 8 to 16.
A spring-fed pond serves as our swim facility. It is state-inspected and supervised by trained lifeguards. The Dining Hall serves child-friendly meals prepared from scratch using Biodynamic® and organic ingredients. Campers and staff eat together family-style, fostering the community-building spirit of the camp. Meals are mostly vegetarian and use farm-fresh eggs, and fruits and vegetables from our gardens and from other farms in the area. Our dining hall staff can accommodate many dietary health restrictions including gluten and nut free.
Our staff consists of six full-time, year-round personnel and eighteen summer counselors. We maintain a 3:1 camper to adult ratio. The program is monitored and licensed by the NY State Department of Health.
Camp fees include all meals, field trips, and camp-related costs.
House Camp (For Children Ages 8-12)
In the House Camp (for children ages 8 to 12), we combine farm with traditional camp activities. Animal care, gardening, horseback riding and cooking all are included in our farm activities. Nature-based crafting, singing, swimming, hiking, cookouts, archery, and eating delicious meals are all part of our camp experience. The children live in the original Main House of the farm. It is divided into four dorm rooms with bunk beds. Please read below for more specific activities included in each camp session.
We offer two six-day options: one for ages 8 & 9, and one for ages 9-12. These sessions are a good first time experience for children. We provide a nurturing environment for the campers in a home-like atmosphere to help the children feel safe and secure. The children feed animals, clean the barn, collect eggs, garden, ride horses, walk the local hills, enjoy arts and crafts, singing, games, swimming in our pond and family style delicious mostly vegetarian meals. All activities are hands-on and are suitable for first time and returning campers.
13-day Session for ages 9-11
A wholesome, enjoyable program of activities well-suited to the 9- through 11- year-old child who is ready for some challenges. Children enjoy the activities listed above for one week campers but experience more time with the animals, chop fire wood, acquire navigational skills while using a map and compass on our woodland walks, learn concentration while they are challenged to hit the bullseye on our archery range. Short off-campus hikes to waterfalls and Glens allows campers to explore our region and enjoy a picnic lunch surrounded by beautiful vistas and valleys. Traditional camp activities include nature based arts and crafts, games, campfires, swimming, and singing. Our dining hall menu includes child-friendly, delicious organic mostly vegetarian meals and snacks. The campers make new friends and feel comfortable making the Main House their summer home.
13-day Session for ages 10-12
At this age, the campers are ready to settle into the rhythm of the farm and enthusiastically face every challenge that we have to offer. In addition to all the hands-on and traditional camp activities listed above, our staff adds off-campus hikes to state parks and local ponds that are long and challenging. At the top of the mountains or edge of the streams, the campers embrace the views or the sparkle of the waterfalls and realize it was well worth the trip while they rest and eat their lunches. The campers show us their skills during Olympic/Carnival Day and Talent Night. Their creative side is found as they carve wooden boats to sail during our famous Creek Boat Race. Our delicious, child-friendly organic, mostly vegetarian meals and snacks are the favorite part of the day for most of our campers. Cookouts and campfires round out these two weeks. The Main House becomes a comfortable home for these campers filled with friends.
2018 Session Dates and Registration Information
13 Days (ages 9 – 11) Sunday, July 1 to Friday, July 13 ($2,600)
6 Days (ages 8 & 9) Sunday, July 15 to Friday, July 20 ($1,300)
6 Days (ages 9 – 12) Sunday, July 22 to Friday, July 27 ($1,300)
13 Days (ages 10-12) Sunday, July 29 to Friday, Aug 10 ($2,600)
Camper readiness is subject to the approval of the camp manager. Please call if you have questions. We are limited to 28 campers per session. These camps fill quickly, so if you are interested please complete an application soon [application will be available in December 2017] !
Field Camp (Ages 12-16)
The Field Campers (ages 12 to 16), experience the farm from the viewpoint of a junior apprentice. In the mornings, they work alongside our professional staff and participate in the daily rhythms of the farm. Campers are challenged and provided the opportunity to get unplugged from a high-tech world and reconnect to nature. During the afternoons, the campers enjoy swimming in our pond, arts and crafts, cook outs, journaling, working with the animals, our archery range, attending cultural events like the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival and plays at area theaters.
Campers live in cabins in a wooded glen on the farm. Our Dining Hall menu includes delicious mostly vegetarian meals and snacks prepared from scratch using Biodynamic and organic ingredients. Campers and staff eat together family-style, fostering the community-building spirit of the camp.
13-day Session for Ages 12 & 13 or New Field Campers
This session is an opportunity to learn about the work involved in Hawthorne Valley’s farm-to-store system – our Farm Store is located within our farm and sells all of the products produced on our farm from raw milk to cheese, yogurt, sauerkraut and more. This session is for campers who are ready to take on the challenge of working for part of the day alongside farmers and other professionals who grow, process and cook healthy food.
Traditional camp activities like swimming, games, nature exploration, crafts, music, and day trips add to the experience. Campers are encouraged to develop responsibility for self and others through productive work while living together as a community. Campers are expected to be ready to live in simple, outdoor living conditions and exhibit willingness and interest in helping the farmers.
13-day Session for Ages 14-16 (Two sessions are offered)
This session challenges campers to be “junior apprentices”. Professional staff in the retail store, bakery, dairy, camp kitchen, and farm will supervise campers for part of the day. This session includes an extended overnight, off-campus camping trip and a visit to local cultural events including the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival (dependent on the dates). Traditional camp activities include swimming, crafts, music, hikes, and more. Campers and counselors develop a tight-knit community where all learn to meet the challenges and reap the rewards of living and working together. Some goals for the campers include: developing responsibility for self and others; acquiring skills to live in a community setting; understanding the life process that sustains us; and learning how to commit to completing a job to its fullest.
27-day Sessions for Ages 14-16
This session is for campers ages 14 to 16 who are ready for the challenge of making the farm their home away from home! We combine our last two week sessions for a 27-day experience. This camp is for the camper who thoroughly enjoys: living on the farm; working with our professional staff; learning about food from the ground up; making new friends; growing, eating and cooking great food; and enjoying life on the farm while being unplugged!
2018 Session Dates and Registration Information (info on 2018 camp fees coming soon!)
13 Days (ages 12 -13) Sunday, July 1 to Friday, July 13 ($2,700)
13 Days (ages 14 – 16) Sunday, July 15 to Friday, July 27 ($2,700)
13 Days (ages 14-16) Sunday, July 29 to Friday, Aug 10 ($2,700)
27 Days (ages 14-16) Sunday, July 15 to Friday, Aug 10 ($5,300)
Due to the challenging nature of these programs, only campers who are deemed mature, healthy, and interested enough will be accepted. All applications must include a Field Camp Questionnaire (PDF, 70 kb) completed by the camper. Each session is limited to 16 campers.
[Note: Registration forms will be available in December 2017]