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Columns

St. Charles Park District: Primrose Farm summer farm camps supply endless fun

Future farmers, emerging foodies and active animal lovers will all find their passion during Primrose Farm’s “Down on the Farm” summer camp sessions. These half- and full-day camps immerse children in the life of a 1930s-era working farm – complete with authentic equipment, active livestock and typical chores that were part of a farm youngster’s summer day.

Children ages 5 to 7 can attend the morning “Farmers” camp on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to noon, while older children ages 7 to 12 can opt for a full day of farm fun with the “Ranchers” camps on Mondays through Fridays from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Both sessions feature old-fashioned crafts, such as making butter, ice cream and baking biscuits in the farm’s summer kitchen, or playing games, such as a Farm Scavenger Hunt, that lets them roam the farm buildings for clues that impart a local farm history lesson.

And no farm day would be complete without accomplishing the chores that keep a farm running. Campers can collect eggs from the chicken coop and learn how to milk a cow, fill the horses’ water tanks and mix the animals’ feed.

“Animal lovers can broaden their knowledge beyond the family pets,” said Alison Jones, farm camp supervisor. “For many children, this will be their only opportunity to get up-close-and-personal with a cow, horse or chicken.”

Once growing season is underway, campers can harvest veggies from the kitchen garden and snack on carrots and other foods the farm produces. In addition to the usual suspects like lettuce and tomatoes, the farm plants unusual crops like kale and rutabagas that children may never have tasted.

“This is a great way for children to learn just where their food comes from,” said Jones. “They’ll go to the grocery store with a whole new appreciation for how food comes to their table.”

For more information on the summer camp session at Primrose Farm, contact Alison Jones at 630-513-4374.

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