Arcadia Farm Camp
Our camp programs are all about Farming, Food, and Fun.
Along with the themes, all sessions include farming, food, and fun. All Farm Campers, no matter the week, learn to tend to the vegetables, care for the chickens (and collect their eggs!), harvest produce right from the farm for making snacks, and enjoy independent play time guided by their interests.
Each week-long session has its own focused theme. The theme guides our educational activities and allows campers to explore these farm and food topics more in-depth. Our themed activities will differ from previous years save the ones Farm Campers raved about. We keep it fresh, like our veggies!
Farm Camp Themes and Dates
Your little animal lover or critter extraordinaire will want to join us during this week.
Eco Explorers campers will learn about all of the fascinating creatures that play a role in our farm ecosystem: pests, pollinators, worms, chickens, fungi, birds, and more!
Farm Foodies July 10-14
This week is identical to the Farm Foodies Week.
It's simply another chance for many interested kids to explore cooking from the vantage point of a farm!
Calling all foodies!
Campers will spend the week harvesting, washing, grating, peeling, chopping, mixing and best of all – tasting!
Your Farm Foodies will learn to become comfortable with following recipes and using kitchen utensils while having fun on the farm!
Eco Crafters July 17-21
This week, your little eco crafters will use all 5 senses to discover creative ways to use plants and herbs.
After harvesting and foraging our way through the garden, we will create DIY projects and unique recipes using herbs, flowers, and so much more.
Take home infused lip balm, herb salt, garlic braids, and many
6-11 Years Old
Arcadia Farm Campers must have turned 6 before the first day of their camp week
Round trip Transportation is available from Old Town Alexandria for an additional fee of $125. Drop-off will be from 8:00-8:15am and pick-up will be from 4:15-4:30pm.
There will be a Farm Camp Counselor dedicated to the vehicle in use for the Transportation Service. The Counselor will conduct check in/out, ride along on transportation to look after campers during the trip, and be available for questions from parents.
This service is provided to assist those Farm Camp Parents seeking an extended day. Rather than our normal hours of 9am-3pm, this extends the day from 8am-4:30pm. The precise location for drop-off and pick-up will be posted prior to May 31.
We suggest that if you are interested in utilizing the Transportation Service you sign up when you register for Farm Camp online. Spaces for this service are limited and we cannot guarantee a space for you after registration has been open for a few weeks.
Registration remains open until all of the spaces are filled or June 13, 2023.
If you are registering prior to June 13, a $100 non-refundable, per child deposit is required at the time of registration.
All remaining balances on Registration fees are due on or before June 13.
We offer an installment payment plan.
You can make payments to your account by using the login information you created at registration.
See your registration confirmation email for the link to follow.
Additionally, a copy of your child’s most recent Immunization Records are due before June 1
You can submit these through your online account.
Required on the first day of camp:
Proof of Identity (POI) for children: The Code of Virginia section 63.1-196.3 requires all children under the age of 13 when first enrolled in a Virginia school or camp to present proof of identity and age. As of January 2017, Arcadia Farm Camp will be requiring that families present this original POI for children on their first day of camp. It will be viewed and verified by a staff member, and immediately given back to the child’s family before leaving check-in on the first day of camp.
Proof of Identity (POI) for parent or guardian: The person dropping off AND picking up your child on their first day of camp will need to show their ID.
Farm Camp Fees and Discounts
All materials must be received online before June 1, 2023. A $100 non-refundable, per child deposit is required at registration.
All remaining balances on Registration fees are due on or before June 1, 2023. No exceptions.
We make Arcadia Farm Camp accessible to as many children as possible. Scholarships are available for children from low-income households in the metro area.
Email farmcamp@Arcadiafood.org to find out more.
Round trip Transportation is available from Old Town Alexandria for an additional fee. Drop-off will be from 8:00-8:15am and pick-up will be from 4:15-4:30pm.
This service is provided to assist those Farm Camp Parents seeking an extended day. Rather than our normal hours of 9am-3pm, this extends the day from 8am-4:30pm.
The precise location for drop-off and pick-up will be posted prior to May 31
If you’re registering your child for more than one session, take $15 off the first session.
You may only use this discount on one session.
If you’re registering two or more of your children, take $15 off the first child.
You may only use this discount on one child.
Farm Camp Scholarships
At Arcadia Farm Camp, we want to give all kids the opportunity to find out where their food comes from. Through our Scholarship Fund, we provide about a quarter of our campers each summer with full or partial Scholarships to attend Farm Camp. We work closely with a number of Community Partners in the area right around the Farm in Alexandria and in Washington D.C. to connect with families who qualify by income level for the Scholarship Program.
Apply for a Scholarship
If you are a family who is interested in applying for a Scholarship for one or more of the children in your family, please download, complete, and return the Arcadia Farm Camp Scholarship Application.
Applications are accepted on a rolling basis between March 1 - May 1, 2023 or until all spots are filled. Notifications will be made on or before May 15, 2023.
To register for Arcadia Farm Camp, please download the Registration Packet.
Please contact the Farm Camp Director at FarmCamp@Arcadiafood.org if you have any questions.
Donate to the Scholarship Fund
Interested in making Arcadia Farm Camp accessible to young people from low-income families?
You can contribute to this program for this summer and years to come by giving to the Farm Camp Scholarship Fund!
Frequently Asked Questions
What if I need to make an alteration to my child’s registration?If for any reason a change to your child(ren)'s registration (i.e. withdrawal, session change, addition of transportation) is necessary, you can make alterations to your registration online by using the login information you created at registration. You can navigate to your login page by clicking “Online Account” on the confirmation email you receive immediately after completing registration. If you are having difficulties making your desired changes, please contact our Farm Camp Director at FarmCamp@arcadiafood.org for assistance.
ContactLearn more about Arcadia Farm Camp by exploring further information through the pages listed below. If after you have read through all of the information provided, you still have remaining questions, you may contact the Farm Camp Director at FarmCamp@Arcadiafood.org.
What food do you provide during the camp day?We ask that all campers are sent with one snack, however, lunches will be provided. To account for our campers who lose access to free and reduced price lunches during the summer months, this year we will continue working with Neighborhood and Community Services (NSC) to provide our campers with free healthy lunches. Please send a bagged lunch with your camper if you decide to forgo the free Summer Meal. Things to know: Summer Meals are free of peanut and pork products. Meals will be provided daily and available to all students. Not all dietary restrictions can be accommodated. Summer Meals menus may not be available until July, 2023.
What are the facilities?The Groundhog Garden, an interactive garden space designed specifically for kids, will be the center of activities at Arcadia Farm Camp. It has 10 raised beds and 12 rotating vegetable plots, and includes a pollinator garden, a peanut butter and jelly bed, a kids shed, and 50 varieties of fruits and vegetables. When campers are not in Groundhog Garden, campers use our outdoor chef’s counter for developing their culinary skills and preparing healthy snacks. They also explore our other spaces such as the compost pile, chicken coupe, beehives, and the Natural Play Space. Our Natural Play Space is our version of a playground. It is designed using natural, found objects and functions to provide a space for creative play. Shade Structure is provided by our industrial sized tent. Our picnic tables for snack, lunch, and activities are positioned under the tent. Campers can get out of the sun under the tent or the trees on the Farm. Indoor Space is something we use in case of emergencies or harsh weather conditions. Our focus is to be an outdoor camp. We use several rooms inside Woodlawn’s historic house as our indoor refuge from the rain or the heat. See weather questions below.
What does a typical day of Farm Camp look like?During a day at Farm Camp our activities could range from bug races and making fresh pesto, to time with Visiting Educators who share their passion for topics like bees and goats! The activities vary according to theme week but we keep a similar schedule for each day throughout all four weeks. The following is an example of a normal Daily Schedule at Farm Camp: 8:45 to 9:00 am: Check-in 9:00-9:30 am: Farm Chores: watering, harvesting, collecting eggs, bug squishing, etc. 9:30-10am: Morning Gathering and snack 10:00-10:30am: Active Play time: independent play and games led by Counselors 10:30-12:00pm: Morning themed activities 12:00-1:00pm: Lunch followed by Camper Rest Time 1:00-2:45pm: Afternoon themed activities 2:45-3:00pm: Closing Circle 2:55-3:15 pm: Check-out
Can I visit the Arcadia Farm prior to my camper’s week at Arcadia Farm Camp?Sure! You are welcome to stop by Arcadia Farm, located at the Woodlawn Estate, anytime while Woodlawn is open. We cannot guarantee that an Arcadia staff member will be present but you are welcome to take a look around. Hours and directions can be found here.
Can I get a refund if my camper decides not to come?Yes, you may receive a partial refund, minus your $100 non-refundable deposit. if you cancel your enrollment before June 1, 2023. We cannot provide refunds of any amount after June 1, 2023. This is covered in our Policies Handbook which you will receive upon registering.
I worry about the heat, what do you do in the high heat of the day?On extremely hot days, we’ll take every precaution to keep campers safe and happy. We’ll always have water available, and we’ll take frequent water breaks throughout the day. Camp staff will take into account the temperature, the humidity index, and air quality when planning daily activities. We will make greater use of the Tent and the shady spots on the Farm. We will take mandatory breaks, extend rest period, and plan shade and water activities as necessary. If necessary, we will go to the Woodlawn estate house to take a break from the heat.
Do you offer Extended Day Care?Arcadia Farm Camp has extended the hours of our Transportation Service to assist those parents in need of extended hours. Rather than our normal hours of 9am-3pm, Transportation extends the day from 8am-4:30pm.
Do you have a waitlist?There is a limited waitlist available for each week of Farm Camp. No payment or deposit is required to add your child to the waitlist. If your registration is moved from off of the waitlist and onto the official registration list, the system will prompt you via email to complete the registration process in full (including the $100 non-refundable deposit). You will have three business days to do so and then the system will automatically move on to prompt the next registrant in queue.
What is required of a Farm Camp Staff member?Our Farm Camp Staff is dedicated, diverse in skills, and, most of all, loves being outdoors with kids on the farm! Each of the other staff members is over 18 years of age, has been CPR certified, and has prior education experience. They have each participated in an extensive training specific to our unique Farm Camp. Our full week of training covers topics including outdoor education techniques, inquiry-based learning, facilitating an open learning environment based on choice and free play, conflict resolution, handling issues of heat and inclement weather, emergency procedures, cooking with kids, and much more.
Will campers be divided into groups and how? Can my child be paired with his/her friends?Campers are placed into mixed-gender, age appropriate groups during the week. Each group is guided by a Farm Camp staff member who will get to know the ins and outs of your child’s interests. Campers spend equal time in and out of groups; they are in groups for themed activities and together with all of the campers for all other activities. Additionally, parents will check-out at the end of the day with their camper’s staff person in order to allow for open communication between parents and Farm Camp staff about the fun that was had during the day, how the camper is developing throughout the week, and any concerns for either party. It is possible that your child can be paired with their friends, but not guaranteed. At Farm Camp it is important that we provide opportunities for campers to get to know new friends while on the Farm. We value the opportunity for campers to spend time in structured group activities so as to promote new friendships and communication skills, as well as make sure to provide ample unstructured time for reconnecting with old friends or exploring the farm with new friends.
What makes Arcadia Farm Camp unique?Arcadia Farm is a place of wonder and discovery for people of all ages. Campers are surrounded by a bounty of vegetables and beautiful spaces. The Groundhog Garden, Arcadia’s educational youth space, is a plot in the middle of the four-acre Arcadia Farm. It is designed specifically to engage the elementary-aged audience-- to inspire them, to excite them, and to invoke questions and discoveries! Our approach to engaging kids on the farm sets us apart. Our techniques are guided by the principles of Farm Based Education. Each aspect of Arcadia Farm Camp is hands-on so that campers come away with a deep appreciation for the process of cultivating food in harmony with nature, and eating healthy. Each day, we prepare snacks and taste the fruits of our harvest, including a salad bar for students to experience once they’ve washed and prepared produce from the farm. Our farm provides the freshest of eating experiences to campers. When campers prepare snacks, they get to harvest their ingredient veggies right from the farm! We use seasonal veggies, from Arcadia Farm and other local Farmer partners! Arcadia Farm is on the site of the Woodlawn Estate. This historic property, once a part of George Washington’s Mount Vernon, provides campers with the opportunity to learn about the history of the people, buildings, and agricultural traditions of this area, as well as sustainability and land conservation.
What should my child bring to camp?Dress to get dirty! Wear comfortable, cool clothes that can get wet or dirty. Bring the following: One snack and a healthy bag lunch (we do not have refrigeration on site). 2 Face Masks Water bottle Change of clothes (bring on Monday to have available for the week) Close-toed shoes Sunscreen labeled with your child’s name
What will you do in case of inclement weather?If it’s raining, dress your child for the weather – we’ll still work and play outside! Rainy days are a great time to learn about how we use water on the farm and the ecosystem we’re a part of. In case of thunderstorms, we will go into the Woodlawn estate house for quiet lessons and activities.
What is the Staff-to-Camper ratio?Our ratio of staff to Farm Campers is about 1:6 each week. We have 6 experienced staff members during all weeks of camp. Our Farm Camp Director oversees the development and coordination of the program from start to finish. We then seasonally hire 5 counselors and 1 Farm Camp Manager to facilitate an open and exciting environment during the Farm Camp day. You’ll learn more about those fun-loving staff members in June!
What forms and documents are required for registration?The online registration system through which you register your camper will collect all forms and documents from you. Several forms are required to complete your registration, such as release of liability and photo release. In order to proceed with the online registration, you are asked to read through these forms and digitally agree to their statements. We require an additional document in order to finalize your child’s registration. We must receive a copy of your child’s most recent Immunization Records before June 1, 2023. This should be submitted via your account with our online Registration system. Use the login information you created at registration to reach your account. You can navigate to your login page by clicking “Online Account” on the confirmation email you receive immediately after completing registration. You may also submit via email to FarmCamp@Arcadiafood.org or mail to Arcadia Farm. However, online submission of this document is preferred. We require families to present a Proof of Identity (POI) for each child on the first day of camp. This is outlined by the Code of Virginia section 63.1-196.3 which requires all children under the age of 13 when first enrolled in a Virginia school or camp to present proof of identity and age. As of January 2017, Arcadia Farm Camp will be requiring that families present this original POI for children on their first day of camp. It will be viewed and verified by a staff member, and immediately given back to the child’s family before leaving check-in on the first day of camp. The great thing is, once you do this, you will not be required to show this at Farm Camp again! We keep record of this Proof of Identity for future summers of Farm Camp. The Code of Virginia states that “Proof of identity means a certified copy of a birth certificate or other reliable proof of the child’s identity and age.” The following documents are acceptable forms of reliable proof: Certified copy of a birth certificate Birth registration card Notification of birth (hospital, physician, or midwife record) Passport Copy of placement agreement or entrustment agreement from a child placing agency (foster care and adoption agencies) Record from a public school in Virginia Certification by a principal or his designee of a public school in the U.S. that a certified copy of the child’s birth record was previously presented Copy of the conferring temporary legal custody or entrustment agreement of a child to an independent foster parent. Child identification card issued by the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV)
What if there is an emergency?Arcadia staff members are trained in CPR and first aid, and will provide first response in case of accidents or injury. All staff members also carry cell phones to be used in case of an emergency. In case of emergency, we will notify parents/guardians indicated on your registration forms as soon as possible. There’s more information about our health and safety policies in our Policies Handbook, which you will receive upon registering.
What’s the deal with the weekly themes?All sessions of Arcadia Farm Camp include food and farming activities like harvesting, weeding, making recipes, and more. During some weeks, we’ll spend more time exploring certain aspects of the farm to table process, depending on the weekly theme. For example, during the Eco Explorers week, we’ll still make a few great recipes, but we’ll also take a nature walk to find creatures on the farm or explore our pest population and why sustainable farmers do not use pesticides to combat them. Campers who sign up for the Farm Foodies week will certainly be involved in taking care of the farm--watering crops, collecting eggs, turning compost--but will spend more time exploring the fruits & vegetables of the season and using them to prepare healthy snacks.
Do you offer a Transportation Service?Round trip Transportation is available from Old Town Alexandria for an additional fee of $150. Drop-off will be from 8:00-8:15am and pick-up will be from 4:15-4:30pm. There will be a Farm Camp Counselor dedicated to the vehicle in use for the Transportation Service. The Counselor will conduct check in/out, ride along on transportation to look after campers during the trip, and be available for questions from parents. This service is provided to assist those Farm Camp Parents seeking an extended day. Rather than our normal hours of 9am-3pm, this extends the day from 8am-4:30pm. The precise location for drop-off and pick-up will be posted prior to May 31, 2023. We suggest that if you are interested in utilizing the Transportation Service you sign up when you register for Farm Camp online. Spaces for this service are limited and we cannot guarantee a space for you after registration has been open for a few weeks.
Stephen Corrigan – Farmer TrainerStephen was Arcadia’s Farm Manager from 2012 to 2014 before pursuing his dreams of co-owning a distilling business (One eight Distilling in Washington, DC). Stephen re-joined Arcadia as a part-time Farmer Trainer in 2017 to support the Veteran Farmer Program, and in the Veteran Farmer Reserve in particular. Stephen has 9 years of farm management experience, and 10 years of experience in farmer training and curriculum development. Prior to joining Arcadia, he spent 2 years at the Farm School in Athol, MA, as Grower and Field Crop Educator. While Stephen is an expert grower of many vegetables, he especially loves growing potatoes.
Sam Stern - Farm Co-ManagerSam Stern is a Navy veteran turned farmer. Sam became Arcadia Farm’s Co-Manager in 2022 after completing Arcadia’s Veteran Reserve Program and Rodale Institute’s Veteran Farmer Training program in 2021. 2023 will be Sam’s third year farming. He’s focused primarily on the ancestral practice of seed-keeping, storytelling, and stewarding the land with regenerative methods. Sam is also one of our incubator farmers this year, co-farming as a member of SeedEd Farm.
Kenneth Meyers - Farm Co-Managerkenneth@arcadiafood.org Kenny grew up on a 400 acre dairy farm in Maryland. He studied golf course management at University of Maryland's Institute of Applied Agriculture, and spent several years managing golf courses and landscaping crews, including at an organic course on Martha's Vineyard. At every golf course he managed, he always incorporated a small vegetable garden into the landscape. In 2013, he apprenticed at an organic vegetable farm in Maine, and decided vegetable farming was his future. In 2014 he co-founded an organic farm in Missoula, Montana, which he co-owned until 2019, when he came to Arcadia to join our farm staff and help implement our training program for military veterans, shaping the next wave of farmers.
Samantha Pounder - Mobile Market Operations ManagerSamantha@arcadiafood.org Samantha joined Arcadia in 2021 as Food Access Director where she oversees the Mobile Market Program and other DC-based food access initiatives. Samantha has been working in small food businesses since she was 16 years old. A graduate of UNC Chapel Hill and University of Cape Town, Samantha is passionate about food and food sovereignty. She brings to Arcadia many years of operations experience in the for-profit and an incredible amount of knowledge learned while launching a small-format grocery store in Washington, DC’s Ward 7. Samantha is excited to work in an organization that allows her to continue her passion.
Juan Pablo Echeverria - Outreach and Education Managerjuanpablo@arcadiafood.org Juan Pablo is responsible for expanding farm education programs, creating strategic partnerships, and building capacity for schools and communities in Fairfax County - Route 1 Corridor to grow their own food. He joined Arcadia in 2019 to address food system inequities in local communities with the intent of improving food access, reducing food insecurity, and fostering better nutrition. He has 12 years of experience in agriculture and nonprofit management. In Guatemala, his home country, Juan Pablo co-founded an urban sustainability organization, owned and managed an urban organic farm, owned a bar and restaurant and served as president for a Public Health nonprofit. He also completed a business management degree from Universidad Mesoamericana de Guatemala.
Shelby Hintz - On-Farm Education ManagerShelby oversees all on-farm education programs including farm camp, field trips, small group visits and volunteer days. Shelby joined Arcadia in 2023 from a position as a group home case manager for adolescents in which she oversaw and advocated for the safety, treatment plans, and wellness of resident youths. Previously, Shelby worked as a program specialist with the Boys and Girls Club of America, teaching STEM and overseeing educational activities and youth development. Shelby also volunteered to support students with cognitive, physical and behavioral challenges in an equine therapy program. She came to Arcadia with a deep commitment to sustainability and mad pizza-making skills.
Andrea Neal - Mobile Market Operations ManagerAndrea@arcadiafood.org Andrea Neal is the Mobile Market Operations Manager. She joined Arcadia in 2020 as a market manager and was promoted in 2021 to overseeing inventory and staff operations. She came to Arcadia with four years managing a DC farmer's market and 12 years of growing food and teaching farming and best growing practices. She has an MBA from University of Phoenix and is a master gardener.
Matt Mulder - Director of OperationsMatt@arcadiafood.org Matt is Arcadia’s Director of Operations and Director of the Veteran Farmer Program. Matt has spent the last 25 years working on environmental and agricultural programs in the Washington, DC area. Matt currently serves as Co-chair of the Fairfax Food Council. His academic experience includes a Master’s degree in Biology, with scientific research in the fields of Ecology, Pollination Ecology, Ornithology, and Herpetology. Matt loves to garden and eat good food, and is excited to have a job that incorporates both of those loves.
Jessica Zielinski-Meffer – Nutriments ManagerA graduate of Arcadia’s Veteran Farmer Program – both the Reserve and the Veteran Farm Fellowship – Jessica puts her prodigious organizational and people skills to work supporting Arcadia’s development program, corporate volunteer program, and Live Eat Grow program. A veteran of the United States Air Force, Jessica worked on avionics on the F-16. Volunteering with an Air Force Pollution Prevention Office encouraged her to complete a BS degree in Sustainability Studies to pursue environmental work full time outside of the military. She has worked on multiple farm crews, volunteered with the Northeast Organic Farming Association of Connecticut, and interned with Earth Sangha. Jessica spearheaded the cultivation of a thriving native meadow at Arcadia in 2019, knitting together her love of environmental stewardship and sustainable agriculture.
Alinah Kargar – Community Farm Market and Outreach CoordinatorAlinah is a recent George Mason graduate who earned a B.A. in Environmental and Sustainability Studies with a concentration in sustainable food systems and agriculture. She learned about Arcadia in college and started her work here at Farm Camp as a camp counselor. She joined the Mobile Market team after farm camp was over and eventually was entrusted with opening the Hybla Valley Community Market this year. While passionate about food justice and access, Alinah is quite happy to be moving Arcadia's food through the local community.
Regan McLaughlin - Mobile Market Community and Innovation ManagerRegan joined Arcadia in 2021 to a newly created position responsible for both community and customer engagement and helping to create new programs and Mobile Market business models. She came to Arcadia from project management across multiple fields, including national security and the film industry, and fundraising for Food & Water Watch. Regan is passionate about the Zero Waste movement and gardening. She is an artist and founder of alteredeco.com, making art for sale from trash.
Pamela Hess - Executive Directorpam@arcadiafood.org Executive Director Pamela Hess has been with Arcadia since March 2013. She came to Arcadia from journalism. A career national security journalist, Pam covered the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as the Pentagon and CIA with the Associated Press and United Press International. After a brief foray into national politics as a communications director on Capitol Hill, Pam returned to her first love: food and sustainable farms. In 2011, she took the helm of a local food and wine magazine that celebrated sustainable food and farming in the Capitol Foodshed, and in the course of it, met and fell in love with Arcadia. She brings to Arcadia a deep commitment to its mission, a large and expanding network of farmers and food advocates, and a great reputation within the sustainable food community.