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Arcadia Farm Camp

Our camp programs are all about Farming, Food, and Fun.

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FARMING

Campers learn about daily farm life.

From morning chores like watering, harvesting, and collecting eggs to planting seeds and tilling

garden beds

 

Kids get to be the farmers during each week of

Arcadia Farm Camp.

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FOOD

Campers explore the delicious world of sustainable food through activities like taste tests, menu designs, chef demos, and hands-on preparation of simple dishes and snacks.

 

Plus, all of the veggies come straight from the Groundhog Garden and Dogue Farm, our

production farm.

FUN

At Arcadia Farm Camp, kids have fun!

We combine learning and play in a safe, interactive outdoor environment.

 

Each day includes free time guided campers’ own interests and choices.

 

Campers spend time in the Groundhog Garden and Natural Play Space, as well as active, educational games led by experienced staff.

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Activities and Visiting Educators

Arcadia Farm is a place of wonder and discovery. 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!

         

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During a day at Farm Camp, our activities could range from compost explorations and making fresh salsa, to time with Visiting Educators who share their knowledge for farm topics from bees to goats!

 

Our Visiting Educators are partners of Arcadia who come from across Virginia and DC. They are dedicated and delighted to conduct sessions with our Farm Campers. The activities each week vary according to theme week but all sessions include food and farming activities like harvesting, weeding, making recipes, and more.

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.
  • Contact
    Learn 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. Please send a bagged lunch with your camper if you decide to forgo the free Summer Meal. Things to know: Lunch is provided through the Capital Area Food Bank (CAFB) program. Vegetarian meals are an option. Menus will become available in June. Snacks are provided at camp daily. We will use produce grown on the farm and in the garden as much as we can for both snack and cooking activities. 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, 2024.
  • 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 coop, 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 9:15 am: Check-in 9:15-10:00 am: Farm Chores: watering, harvesting, collecting eggs, bug squishing, etc. 10:00-10:30am: Snack and Active Play time: independent play and games led by Counselors 10:30-12:00pm: Morning activities 12:00-1:00pm: Lunch followed by Camper Rest Time 1:00-2:30pm: Afternoon activities 2:30 - 2:45pm: Counselor-led cool downs and pick-up preparation 2:45 pm: Pick up begins- Table Activities, group/free play, and farm chores available while campers wait for transportation. 3:30 pm: Jones Point Park Transportation leaves camp
  • 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, 2024. 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 8:10am-4:15pm.
  • 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). Water bottle Change of clothes kept in their backpack 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 1:5 each week. We have 5 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 6 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 May 27, 2024. 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 8:10-8:20am and pick-up will be from 4:00-4:15pm. A Farm Camp 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 extends the day from 8:10am-4:15pm. The location for drop-off and pick-up is Jones Point Park. Spaces are limited for transportation and are claimed quickly. We suggest that if you are interested in utilizing the Transportation Service you sign up when you register for Farm Camp online.
  • Stephen Corrigan – Farmer Trainer
    Stephen 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.
  • Sara Guerre - Farm Co-Manager
    Contact Sara at sara@arcadiafood.org
  • Chris Guerre - Farm Co-manager
    chris@arcadiafood.org
  • Samantha Pounder - Mobile Market Operations Manager
    Samantha@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 Manager
    juanpablo@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 Manager
    Shelby 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 Manager
    Andrea@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 Operations
    Matt@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 Manager
    A 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 Coordinator
    Alinah 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 Manager
    Regan 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 Director
    pam@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.
  • Casandra Lawson - Route 1 Community Farm Manager
    Casandra became the Route 1 Community Farm Manager in November of 2023. She is responsible fo leading the effort to build community engagement, promote sustainable food production, and provide educational opportunities for underserved and military connected communities connected along the Route 1 corridor. She is also co-chair of the Fairfax Food Council's Urban Agriculture Working Group. She came to Arcadia from a job as a farm worker at Potomac Vegetable Farms where she planted, tended, harvested and packaged vegetables. Prior to that Casandra was a government contractor working in the national security sector. She is deeply nourished through her time spent in the garden and on her yoga mat.
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