Updates from the Farm: January 2024

It’s been a cold, eventful month at ThorpeWood! This January we welcomed snow to the farm, hosted a few nonprofit and educational groups, and said goodbye to a valued member of our team. 

Winter is a time for hunkering down and planning on the farm. During the coldest weather of the year, our outdoor programs slow way down. The staff focus on planning for the year ahead and hosting indoor and self-led programs. Nonprofit Coordinator Tim welcomed groups from a variety of organizations to the lodge, including a returning group of staff from FCPS’s social studies department, The Curator Group, The Common Market Co-Op, and the Frederick Presbyterian Church, for various meetings and retreats. At the end of the month, we welcomed our program partner The Umbrella Project for an overnight volunteer orientation at the Homestead House. 

Speaking of the Homestead House, that old historic log house is in need of some sprucing up in order to host our program participants more comfortably, and our property team is on the job this winter! We were so grateful to have some young adult residents from Steadfast: Standing Firm Against Youth Homelessness one morning this month to help us put a fresh coat of paint in one of the bedrooms. We’re looking forward to continuing work with Steadfast, which does such important work in our community. 

Last week, we said a bittersweet goodbye to our program director and ThorpeWoodian of over 7 years, Katie Guth. During her time here, Katie was a joyful ambassador between the natural world and those in need of restoration. Her work has had a lasting and meaningful impact on the community and on ThorpeWood as an organization. We’re proud to uphold the legacy she leaves behind of spreading peace, wonder, and healing. To celebrate Katie we gathered some of her closest program participants for a lunch-time feast and enjoyed the unseasonably warm weather with some outdoor art therapy and a hike to beautiful Black Rock. 

Looking forward, we are planning to welcome back many of our program partners for therapeutic nature and animal-based programs. Plus, this spring we are spearheading our very first climate grief workshop!  HOOP: Healing Ourselves and Our Planet is a support group facilitated by ThorpeWood’s executive director and mental health professional, Kaili van Waveren, and hosted by The Common Market Co-Op in Frederick, MD. HOOP is designed to be a therapeutic and activism-based support group for those experiencing the effects of living through a climate crisis. Are you someone who is interested in this group or know someone who might be interested? Registration is open to the public now!