Being a kid I distinctly remember my grandfather’s first year after my grandmother passed. He moved to an apartment at a retirement village. He would go over to the nursing part of the village for meals and could never figure out why all those “old people” were so grumpy. He was 95 at the time so he had at least 10 years of “oldness” on them yet he approached life in a very kid-like manner. Sitting by the swimming hole listening to the stream and day-dreaming these pleasant memories of my grandfather turned to the thought “where does one go to be a kid today.” The obvious answer was Farm Camp so I asked both a staff member and multi-year returning camper what it meant to them. First, the camper perspective.

When John first came up and asked me to write about what being a kid meant to me and how being at Farm Camp helps me to be a kid, I thought of the easy answers. Being small, being bossed around, and going to school. Then I thought of the more significant (and opposite) parts of being a kid. So let’s start with the first part of the question. What being a kid means? Being a kid is the stage in our lives that shapes what we are as an adult. An irresponsible kid makes an irresponsible adult, a happy kid makes a happy adult, and an angry kid makes an angry adult. Since the first 1/5 of our life makes us who we are for the last 4/5’s of it there is nothing more important than having a happy healthy childhood. This is where Farm Camp comes in. Farm Camp is not just an ordinary camp with barn animals; it is a place where kids get shaped into what will one day became their future selves. This being my third year at farm camp I can tell you that it has changed my life and never for the worse. At Farm Camp most of our day is consumed by fun and games, something any child’s summer should have, but when chore time comes around everything gets done. Nobody slacks on their chores because they know that the chores not only help run the camp, but they help each individual kid in their everyday life. So not only do we have fun and enjoy ourselves, but we take on responsibilities, ultimately making us into happy, fun-loving and responsible adults.                                                                                                                              -Liam aged 13, 3rd year Farm Camper

To me, being a kid at Farm Camp means having so much fun that I forget the day of the week. Running so fast, I forget where I’m heading and rolling down hills of hay in my sleeping bag. It means, milking goats and kissing cows named Marshall. Being a kid means eating as many s’mores as I can (then eating one more). It means overcoming my fears with new (lifelong) friends and embracing a newly discovered me. That’s what being a kid at Farm Camp means to me.       -Cierra, counselor

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