In order to give campers and parents an inside look at Frost Valley’s New York Farm Tour Adventure Trip, new Adventure Director Tori Staley answered some questions parents and campers might have about the trip.
1. Can you describe the campers this trip would be well suited for?
“This trip is perfect for campers going into the 9th – 12th grade who love animals and have an interest in working on a farm and learning about where the food they eat comes from. A willingness to roll up their sleeves and get their hands dirty, combined with a desire to try new things will really help campers to get the most out of this trip. A strong desire to give back to the local farming community is a plus. Campers will receive 35 hours of community service for completing this trip.”
2. What prior experience is necessary?
“There’s no prior experience necessary. Campers should have a desire to camp outside in a tent and a willingness to work on different types of farms.”
3. What will campers gain from working on local farms?
“Campers will gain hands on experience, learning directly from local farmers about issues that affect agriculture in New York, such as what crops grow well based on the type of soil and the impact of farming practices on the watershed. They will participate in things like maintaining and building fencing, herding sheep, trimming sheep’s hooves, harvesting and braiding garlic, preparing and packaging produce for farmers markets, weeding and planting, and taking care of animals. As I mentioned earlier, they will also receive 35 hours of community service for their work.”
4. Who will lead the trip? Can you speak about their qualifications/experience?
“Since this is a coed trip, there will be both a male and a female Frost Valley trip leader. The leaders are knowledgeable in farming and sustainability. Our Frost Valley staff members have Wilderness First Responder certification, which is the premiere emergency medical training for leaders in remote areas. They also undergo a rigorous two-week training process at Frost Valley.”
5. Which farms will the campers will be visiting/working on?
“Campers will be visiting Stone and Thistle Farm in East Meredith, NY which raises meadow-fed lamb, goat, beef, chicken, turkey, and pork. At East Branch Farms in Roxbury, NY, campers will learn about biodynamic and organic agricultural practices, and harvesting fruit and vegetables. East Branch Farms also produces Kimchee, which the campers will sell at farmers markets. Gansvoort Farm in Germantown, NY raises grass-fed sheep so campers will help take care of the sheep as well as learn about rotational grazing.”
6. What kind of meals will the campers have during the trip?
“Campers will occasionally get to practice backcountry cooking with the very food they are harvesting and learning about on the farms! In addition to lots of fresh produce, the campers will have breakfasts that include things like oatmeal, granola, and cereals. The campers will do a lot of snacking during the day to keep their energy up. They’ll have things like tortillas with soy nut butter and granola bars. Dinner will include hot meals that include pasta and other grains, vegetables, bean burritos, and soups.”
7. What other activities will the kids participate in outside of working on the farms?
“In addition to working on the farms, the campers will go on a day hike to a location the group decides on and go swimming at a local lake. They will also visit local farmers markets. Campers will participate in conversations about service leadership and how they can bring the knowledge they have gained during the trip home to their communities.”
8. Is there anything you’d like campers to know about the New York Farm Tour Adventure Trip?
“Getting to see from start to finish where and how our food is produced will give campers a whole new perspective on farming. It is a great trip to grow their understanding of Stewardship and Community as Frost Valley core values. A lot of the farms they are working with provide food for residents of New York City and New Jersey. This trip will give campers the opportunity to visit some of the most beautiful farmland in New York State.”