At F&W, in everything we do, we endeavor to leave as small a footprint on the earth as possible and to practice and teach environmental sustainability. All program participants experience simple living: A day or summer with little commercialism, no media except for an occasional newspaper, home grown food, minimal electricity, and methods for making their own food, fun, and housing. Through experience, participants learn the tools and philosophy of environmental sustainability.
Summer campers learn that it is possible and in fact wonderful to live in open-air shelters, use composting toilets, and have no electricity available in their living spaces. They experience a summer without electronic gadgets.
All F&W participants learn and practice the “Leave No Trace” ethic when camping, hiking, boating, and moving through the woods. Leave No Trace is a set of guidelines where wilderness travelers do least harm to sensitive ecosystems, and includes packing out all waste, camping in designated sites and minimizing the use of fire.
In all programs there is daily attention to consumption and waste. At F&W, we grow and eat our own organic food, and buy as much locally grown food as we can. We produce and pasteurize our own milk. In the dining room, campers are taught to take on their plates only as much as they can eat. Any leftover scraps are put in buckets to be used for pig-slop or garden compost. Campers participate in recycling, trash collection and disposal, and food-waste composting.
When working in the barn and garden, participants are taught fa rming techniques, which conserve water, prevent soil erosion, create and maintain healthy soil, and protect biodiversity.
Summer camp participants assist in building barns, cabins, and outhouses (‘kybos’); they gather firewood and in some cases use ice for refrigeration or hand-pump water to a cistern; in past years they have assisted in converting a gas engine to an electric engine and delivering mail by bicycle. In these activities and others, campers actively participate in maintaining our small physical footprint.