Our Head Start summer camp is done for the year. We had such fun with our littlest farm visitors! If you haven’t already, take a look at Part I of our summer camp blog to see what we did in the first half of summer (click here to read that post). Or, continue reading here to come along with us on our second half of summer camp!
On the morning of our fourth day of summer camp, we began by telling the class that the horses had a big appointment in town tomorrow – and they needed to get all cleaned up for the occasion (this appointment, incidentally, was our outing to Thurmont’s ‘A Day in the Park’ – read about that day here). So, the kids brought our horses in from the field and groomed them with brushes and curry combs. Before the bath, however, we decided to have a little bit of fun. In small groups, we painted the horses with finger paints and paraded our creations in front of the other groups! Everyone then bathed their horse with soapy water and sponges. While the horses dried, we headed to the hay playground to romp and swing in the hay.
After lunch, we brought out some mirrors and face paint markers to gear up for extreme hide and seek. The kids (and adults!) used the greens, browns, and blacks to turn their faces camo for the occasion. We got into three small groups and began our hiding and seeking in the arboretum. To keep everyone accounted for, we both hid and sought while sticking together in small groups. It was wonderful fun – especially to see the teachers and aides get so competitive!
As the kids got off the bus on the fifth morning of summer camp, we explained that we did not get all of our farm work done yet! Mr. Jeff didn’t finish his maintenance check of the farm machinery or get all his nails and screws into the wood boards. Miss Joy didn’t get to cleaning up the horse poop, grooming the animals, or adding new stone dust to the chicken pen. We needed to help them! So, we got down to business cycling through each of these activities – taking ten minutes or so at each station to help Miss Joy and Mr. Jeff get their work done. The kids took to their work exceptionally well!
In the afternoon, we had one last bit of work to finish – checking on the horses’ hay supply. So, we headed over to the hay playground to do just that (and bounce and swing a bit, too!). Afterward, we were rewarded for all of our hard work with a half-hour on the slip n’ slide! Everyone had such fun getting wet on this hot day!
Finally, on our last day of summer camp, we did our traditional end-of-summer adventure – a trip down Coffee Hollow to our favorite stream spot! We began the morning with a wagon ride around the farm to say good bye to all of our animals. Still aboard the wagon, we left the farm and headed over to ThorpeWood’s lodge where the Coffee Hollow trailhead is. We hiked down the trail about a half mile until we came to our special spot. Here, we got in the stream, splashed, hunted for rocks, and found our natural water slide. We carried on in this matter until lunch.
In the afternoon, we ate lunch around our stream-side fire ring. When everyone had finished their lunches, we read our farm story, The Worry Stone (read it here). Afterward, we collected our own worry stones to bring home with us. The kids took great care in finding just the right special stone. While we took a few more minutes to play in the stream, Miss Joy lit our campfire for marshmallows. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed their treat – whether it was burnt, cold, or just right. Tired and happy, we hiked back up the trail to the bus. Here, we ceremoniously presented the children with the tee shirts they had decorated a few weeks ago and their end-of-summer-camp log medallion necklaces.
We will miss this batch of kids!