Donate to Arcadia Farm Camp 2013

Here’s to the success of our first-ever Arcadia Farm Camp!

During the two weeks of harvesting, cooking, and learning about local, sustainably grown food, we were delighted to work with such bright and enthusiastic children. From the first scavenger hunt to the final closing circle, Arcadia staff enjoyed working and learning with our campers. We’re already excited for next time!

That’s why we’re asking you to help us improve the experiences of campers next year by donating to Arcadia Farm Camp 2013. With your donation, we will provide camp scholarships to low-income families, grow the youth educational farm space, the Groundhog Garden, build our capacity to provide excellent cooking activities to young people and more.

There are two ways to donate:

  • To make a non-tax deductible donation, click here or send a check to Arcadia Farm (9000 Richmond Highway, Alexandria, VA 22309).
  • To make a tax-deductible donation, contact Matt Mulder, Arcadia’s Director of Development of Development and Communications by emailing

And please stay in touch! You can:

This summer has been a wonderful experience for the staff and campers at Arcadia, and we look forward to staying in touch with you throughout the year.


Dispatch from Week 2 of Arcadia Farm Camp

by Tom Chalmers, ACS Summer Fellow

Here we are, well on our way through another session of camp! With plenty of sun, plenty of food to be harvested, and plenty of bright campers to do it, our days have passed by at an amazing rate.

This week, 29 campers have joined us on the farm, immersing themselves in the excitement that accompanies daily life at Arcadia Farm. From turning soil to planting seeds, to watering plants to picking produce, they have become experts on growing and preparing healthy food from scratch.
Surviving the heat has not been easy, but the campers have torn through the 90+ degree haze with plenty of water breaks and water games. We’ve been surprised to see many zany variations on everything from “duck duck goose” to otherwise uneventful watering chores. In the same vein, they’ve taken the lead in planning a “farm olympics” event to coincide with the Opening Games of the 2012 Olympics in London. It will no doubt include many more wacky inventions.

Overall, Arcadia’s first ever farm camp has been fun and insightful for both the kids and the staff. More thanks go out to Ben, for providing another excellent Mobile Market tour, and Elizabeth from Chipotle, who ran a fresh salsa-making demonstration as excellently as she did the first.

Halfway through Week 1!

We’re halfway through the very first week of Arcadia Farm Camp – and what a week it’s been! From water games to chef demos, we’ve been busy beating the heat, exploring the farm, and having fun.

Here are some of the highlights from our first few days:

  • Chefs Ed, Christina and Shannon from DC Central Kitchen stopped by to show us how to make huge delicious meal with seasonal fruits and veggies: okra and tomatoes, chicken florentine, coleslaw, and crepes.
  • We had a visit from Farmer Ben and Arcadia’s own Mobile Market on Tuesday, which included a tour of the bus (so many fridges!). He also enlisted our help in harvesting herbs and Swiss chard
  • Elizabeth from Chipotle did an awesome fresh salsa demonstration today – and brought us free burritos! (Extra special thanks go out to Chipotle for donating eight scholarships to farm camp for kids from low-income families).

More shout-outs go to staff members Rachel, Carling, Matt, Natalie, Sophie and Kat for keeping everyone safe, happy, and healthy.

Stay tuned to our blog for more updates!

Thanks to our Arcadia Farm Camp partners!

We couldn’t be more excited about the first-ever sessions of Arcadia Farm Camp, starting next week! We’re getting ready for digging, planting, watering, weeding, and trying to stay cool.

We think that it’s going to be a pretty special time, and from the beginning, we wanted to include as many young farmers as possible. Now, thanks to the support of our awesome partners, we’ve been able to provide nine scholarships to some growing gardeners from low-income households.

So many thanks to the following partners:

  • With the help of our friends at Chipotle, we were able to offer eight camp scholarships to kids from low-income families. We’re so glad that these young farmers will be joining us next week!
  • The amazingly generous staff at Cowgirl Creamery in Penn Quarter saved their tips from the summer so far and donated them to Arcadia Farm Camp. Their kindness will give yet another young person from a low-income family the opportunity to attend camp.
  • Our friends over at SCAN-VA (Stop Child Abuse Now of Northern Virginia) helped connect us with interested families through their support group for Spanish-speaking parents. The group helps parents become effective leaders in their home and in their community and SCAN is dedicated to helping promote the well-being of children in the Northern Virginia region. We’re so glad to be able to work with them!

Extra special thanks also go out to our Tufts Summer Fellow Tom Chalmers, who helped out with some last-minute translation of our materials for Spanish-speaking parents.


Post is cross-posted on the Arcadia blog.

What should I bring to Arcadia Farm Camp? And other important reminders for parents

  • Don’t forget! Regular drop-off is from 8:45 am to 9:00 am and regular pick-up is from 2:50 pm to 3:10 pm. 
  • When you registered your camper(s), you may have named other people who are authorized to pick up your child. If someone else will be picking up your child on any day of camp, please email Liz ( to update your record. We won’t allow your camper to leave with someone who has not been authorized to pick him/her up!
  • Please dress for the weather! Arcadia Farm Camp is primarily an outdoor camp, so please make sure your child is prepared for what’s in the forecast.
  • On the first day of camp, please bring the following: sunscreen labeled with your child’s name, a change of clothes and a water bottle. We’ll store these items on-site and send them home at the end of the week.
  • Please bring the following for your child every day:Healthy bag lunch labeled with your child’s name and the date (we have refrigeration on site). We will also have snacks and our salad bar available.

Meet our staff: Counselor Kat Song

Arcadia Farm Camp is right around the corner! We’re getting excited to meet all of our campers in just a couple of weeks. In the meantime, keep reading to virtually meet Kat Song, one of our Arcadia Farm Camp Counselors.

Why are you excited to work at Arcadia Farm Camp this summer?
Working at Arcadia Farm Camp is the centerpiece of my summer vacation. I am really looking forward to hanging out on a farm with kids I can help teach life lessons about food, farming and cooking.

Tell us about your previous experience with garden or farm-based education.
Food — how it’s grown, distributed and prepared — has long been a passion of mine. Like most, I started at the end of the spectrum — enjoying the cooking and eating of food — and have since added curiosity and advocacy around how food is produced and distributed to my life-long interests. With kids who attend DC Public Schools, I want to help ensure that the food in school is as healthy as possible and have volunteered with Arcadia’s Farm to School Network.

What’s your favorite vegetable?
My favorite vegetable is the avocado (even though it’s technically a fruit!).

Meet our staff: Counselor Matthew Baer

With the start of Arcadia Farm Camp just a few weeks away, we’re really starting to look forward to working with the great crew we’ve assembled. Matthew is one of three camp counselors who will be learning, playing and working with our young farmers this summer – learn more about him below.

Why are you excited to work at Arcadia Farm Camp this summer? 

I’m excited to be outside and getting my hands dirty while teaching about food. I love the moment when young kids make a connection or realization that they hadn’t thought of before and understand a new part of the world around them. I’m eager to help campers make those great discoveries.

Tell us about your previous experience with garden or farm-based education.

This past fall I spent three months teaching students in Maine about hands-on ecology, including gardening. I have also had many experiences teaching adults and students about sustainability and connecting large-scale global issues with the food we put on our plate.

What’s your favorite vegetable?

Asparagus. Fresh, local asparagus roasted with olive oil, salt, and pepper until tender and crisp.