Monday, September 8, 2014

News from the Classroom
Written by Sarah Hagye for the Summer 2014 issue of Wagner Tales.

“If I could be camp every day that would be my definition of heaven.”

Summer - or what we in the museum business like to call it, summer camp season. How many of you remember your summer camp experiences? For some, it meant leaving home for weeks at a time, being thrust into a group of new kids, sleeping under tents, and waking up to morning dew covering your sleeping bags. For others, it was a summer spent at day camp playing Capture the Flag, going swimming, and visiting other museums and theme parks on field trip days. And then there are the numerous neighborhood backyard camps, sports camps, theatre camps, even computer camps! Here at Historic Wagner Farm, our kids experience farm camp.

The summer of 2014 marked the 8th season in a row for our All in a Day’s Work summer camp. We have had 170 kids spend their summers cleaning out animal stalls, milking cows, driving tractors, grooming horses, making ice cream, planting vegetables... the list goes on and on. Many of these kids have gone on to spend repeat summers with us. They have also become active 4H members. Some are even part time employees.

August is a bittersweet month as these camps wrap up and children head back to school. Camp brings an exciting energy to the farm, an air of exploration and imagination that only summer camp can create. One of the biggest gifts of camp, though, is seeing how a child’s confidence and sense of self grow throughout the weeks. A child who, at first, was nervous around a cow, is the very child leading that cow up to the milking parlor at the end of the summer.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the hard work and dedication of the many camp counselors who have worked here throughout the years. These are the people who make the biggest impact on a camper. They are there the first day at drop off when mom is leaving and a child is feeling shy around a new group of kids. They are the ones helping a child learn how to hold a chicken. They are the ones who allow the kids to douse them with water during a water balloon toss, and laugh right along with them. And, they are the ones who our campers will talk about and remember years later when they think back to the fun they had at Historic Wagner Farm.

I could go on and on about the experiences these campers have had, but perhaps these are better expressed in photos.

Now, onwards to looking forward to autumn!

Click here to see the full Summer 2014 issue of Wagner Tales.