Vermont camp gives kids a firsthand look at life on the farm

Published: Jul. 25, 2022 at 5:03 PM EDT
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WOODSTOCK, Vt. (WCAX) - While some kids swim and boat at camps this summer, others are hard at work on the farm.

Eighteen kids, ages 7-10, are spending their week at the Billings Farm and Museum in Woodstock to learn everything there is to know about life on the farm.

“I think I am going to do that as a job when I am older,” said Sasha Stucker of Burlington.

Stucker wants to work on a farm because of the connection she has with animals.

“I just love the experience when they come up to me,” she said. “I just feel it is a really great feeling.”

Charlotte Dawson is from New Jersey. She also could see herself working around animals.

“Cows, goats, chickens, sheep,” Dawson said.

The weeklong Junior Farmers Camp gives kids a hands-on education.

“We got to shake butter and make homemade ice cream and I have never done that before,” said Louisa Dawson, Charlotte’s older sister.

“A lot of kids really don’t spend a lot of time on a farm. They don’t spend a lot of time around farm animals,” said Gabrielle Bourassa, the camp coordinator.

The Billings Farm and Museum is a working dairy farm but it’s also a year-round chance for people to experience farm life and get a history of farming in Vermont. The day camp is an extension of that mission aimed at the young generation.

“They do chores, they sometimes pick food out of the garden, they do cooking. They milk cows, they feed calves,” Bourassa said.

Like other summer camps, it’s a chance to experience nature and agriculture up close and personal.

“I get to spend time outdoors and I love taking care of animals,” Louisa Dawson said.

The number of dairy farms in Vermont has been shrinking for decades as the region’s working landscape changes, but 8-year-old Sasha Stucker wouldn’t mind seeing a reverse in that trend.

“I think it would be fun if there were more dairy farms, for me, personally, because I love them and I would want to visit all of them in Vermont,” she said.

Next week’s farm camp is for kids ages 11-14 and is a little more intensive of an experience. Spots are still available. Click here for all the details.

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