FAQ

What is a typical day at Arcadia Farm Camp?

During the week-long Arcadia Farm Camp, each day is filled with hands-on activities that teach campers about sustainable agriculture, nutrition, and food preparation.  A typical day begins much like a typical day on any farm: with daily farm chores. Campers take turns collecting eggs, weeding vegetable beds, and harvesting for a morning snack. After a morning welcome and snack, our experienced staff will lead morning activities. Lunch and a rest and recreation period lead into afternoon activities.
Morning and afternoon activities are interactive, cooperative and empowering.  They focus on either Farming or Food.  Farm activities teach campers the basics of growing food in harmony with nature. These activities include chores, games, lessons, art projects, and more. Campers explore topics such as botany, heirloom varieties, companion planting, pest and disease control alternatives, cover cropping, composting, and crop rotation. Food activities train campers to be young chefs, giving them confidence in their cooking skills and exposure to healthy, farm-fresh dishes and snacks. They use seasonal ingredients to make healthy recipes, and learn culinary skills from some of the area’s best chefs and Arcadia’s trained staff.Below is a typical day’s schedule.
9-9:45am Morning chores
9:45-10     Morning welcome and snack
10:15-12 Morning activities
12noon     Lunch
12:30-1 Rest and recreation period
1-2:45 Afternoon activities
2:45-3pm Closing ritual

What are the camp hours?
Arcadia Farm Camp offers before and after care for campers. The care includes fun, cooperative games and activities.

Regular Drop-off is from 8:45 am to 9:00 am
Regular Pick-up is from 2:50 pm to 3:10 pm
Sunrise Sessions (before care) are offered from 7:30 am to 9:00 am
Sunset Sessions (after care) are offered from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm
Arcadia has a strict late pick-up policy and associated penalty fees — please pick your camper up by 5:00 pm to avoid penalties.
Fees: Sunrise Sessions cost $75 per week, and Sunset Sessions cost $125 per week.

What makes Arcadia Farm Camp unique?
Groundhog Garden, Arcadia’s youth farm, is a small plot in the middle of the four-acre Arcadia Farm. It’s a lush, green space just minutes outside of Washington, DC. This historic property, once a part of George Washington’s Mount Vernon, provides the opportunity to learn about the history of the people, buildings, and agricultural traditions of this area as well as sustainability and land conservation.

In addition to the connection to the rich history of this area, our approach to engaging kids on the farm sets us apart.  Each aspect of Arcadia Farm Camp is hands-on, so that campers come away with a deep appreciation for the process of cultivating food in harmony with nature, and eating healthy.  Kids truly become farmers and chefs for the week, using kid-sized tools and equipment to accomplish their assigned farm tasks.

Each day, we prepare snacks and taste the fruits of our harvest, including a salad bar for students to experience once they’ve washed and prepared produce from the farm. Students leave Arcadia Farm Camp feeling empowered to grow and eat their own food. Each week culminates in a farm-to-table experience at which campers will show off their culinary skills by making a recipe with farm-fresh fruits and vegetables to share with their families.

What are the facilities?
Groundhog Garden, an interactive, half-acre space designed specifically for kids, will be the center of activities at Arcadia Farm Camp.  It  has 10 raised beds and 12 rotating vegetable plots, and includes a pollinator garden, a peanut butter and jelly bed, a kids shed, and 50 different varieties of fruits and vegetables.

When they’re not in Groundhog Garden, campers use our outdoor chef’s classroom for developing their culinary skills and preparing healthy snacks.

Arcadia Farm, our 4-acre sustainable demonstration farm, which includes beehives, compost piles, and chickens and ducks, surrounds Groundhog Garden. During inclement weather, campers have access to the Woodlawn estate, an historic home built in 1805.

What is Arcadia Farm Camp’s age range?
Camp is for rising first graders (must have turned 6 before June 1, 2012) through rising fifth-graders (must not have turned 11 before June 1, 2012). We structure activities in two different age groups: 6-8 year-olds will be placed in the growing gardeners group and 9-10 year-olds will be placed in the young farmers group.

What about my kindergartener/middle-schooler?
Due to state licensing requirements, we can not include campers under 6 and since this is our pilot year, we’re focusing on developing programming for elementary-aged children. Stay tuned! We hope to expand our programming in 2013 and beyond.

What should my child bring to camp?
Dress to get dirty!  Wear comfortable, cool clothes that you don’t mind getting wet or dirty.  And bring the following:

  • Healthy bag lunch (we have refrigeration on site).
  • Water bottle
  • Change of Clothes (Bring on Monday to have available for the week)
  • Close-toed shoes
  • Sunscreen labeled with your child’s name

Who is your staff and where do they come from?
Liz Whitehurst is the Farm Education Coordinator at Arcadia.  Liz coordinates and leads Arcadia’s educational programs, including curriculum development, logistical planning, volunteer management, and youth engagement. She created and maintains Arcadia’s interactive youth farm space. Prior to working for Arcadia, Liz worked at Camp Treetops, an educational farm summer camp in upstate New York, and with youth on farms in Maryland and Washington, DC.

Andrea Northup is the Farm to School Director at Arcadia.  Andrea oversees Arcadia’s youth engagement programs, including farm field trips, summer camps, special events, and educational Mobile Market visits to schools.  Andrea founded the D.C. Farm to School Network in 2008, after graduating from Tufts University with degrees in Community Health and Environmental Engineering.

Maureen Moodie is the Farm Director at Arcadia. Maureen oversees all the farm production, planning and programming. She also coordinates weekly volunteers on the farm, assists with school groups and educational programs, and manages seasonal interns. With a commitment to sustainable agriculture and environmentally sound farming methods, Maureen uses her five years of experience on farms to engage the community and provide a demonstration space for public education.

We’ll be hiring experienced seasonal staff starting in April. All of our staff must pass background checks. Interested? Visit ourEmployment page.

What is the camper to counselor ratio?
Our consistent camper to counselor ratio is 8:1, although for some activities, like working with livestock, we’ll have more counselors on hand. We give each camper the attention they need while encouraging cooperation, teamwork and peer-to-peer learning.

How much does Arcadia Farm Camp cost?
Arcadia Farm Camp costs $300 per week. Sunrise and Sunset Sessions are an additional cost.

Does Arcadia offer discounts or scholarships?
We expect to offer a limited number of scholarships for families who qualify. Email liz@arcadiafood.org for more information.

Can I visit the Arcadia Farm prior to my camper’s week at Arcadia Farm Camp?
Arcadia Farm hosts volunteer days every Monday and Sunday throughout the growing season. Volunteer days are a great way to learn about Arcadia, see what we’re growing, and get your hands dirty with your child. Sign up for our email list here.

While you are welcome to stop by the Woodlawn Estate anytime during open hours, it’s best to contact us if you’d like a personalized tour.

We are also hosting a Family Fun Day on June 16, 2012, which is a chance for you and your camper to visit the property, meet our staff, and take part in family-friendly farm activities all day!

Can I get a refund if my camper decides not to come?
Yes, you may receive a refund (minus your $100 deposit) if you cancel your enrollment before May 1, 2012. We cannot provide refunds after May 2, 2012.

What if there is an emergency?
All Arcadia staff members are trained in CPR and first aid, and will provide first response in case of accidents or injury. All staff members also carry cell phones to be used in case of an emergency. In  case of emergency, we will notify parents/guardians indicated on your registration forms as soon as possible.

Do you provide transportation for campers from DC to Arcadia Farm?
Unfortunately, Arcadia Farm Camp will not provide transportation to Arcadia Farm this year. However, with your permission, we will share your contact information with other DC parents in order to help facilitate carpooling.

What will you do in case of inclement weather? 

If it’s raining, dress your child for the weather – we’ll still work and play outside! Rainy days are a great time to learn about how we use water on the farm and the ecosystem we’re a part of.

In case of thunderstorms, we have access to the Woodlawn estate house for quiet lessons and activities.

On extremely hot days, we’ll take every precaution to keep campers safe and happy.  We’ll always have water available, and we’ll take frequent water breaks throughout the day.  Camp staff will take into account the temperature, the humidity index, and air quality when planning daily activities.  We will take mandatory breaks, extend rest period, and plan shade and water activities  as necessary.


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