By Andrea Breen, Tamarack Farm Director

Cool nights and slowly changing leaves have arrived in Minneapolis. I have settled back into life teaching at the University of Minnesota. As I welcome students back into the classroom, I find my mind wandering to the long days of summer at Tamarack Farm. We had a lot of “new” this summer: a new Counselor Apprentice Program, an entirely new staff, including me as a Director, and half session campers for the first time since the 70’s. Having so much new provided us with many learning opportunities, the ability to try some things out, some of which we liked and some of which we did not, and it gave us a lot more ideas for the future. In my classes, we teach the need for leaders to constantly navigate between the dance floor and the balcony. This summer we had opportunities for both, standing on the balcony to observe and plenty of all-out dancing! Here are some of the highlights:

  1. We completed the long-awaited Art Barn with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and an incredible amount of camper engagement and participation.
  2. According to Chantal our head farmer, we had a fantastic and productive farm summer. Campers showed up to barn chores regularly, took excellent care of our farm animals, weeded, harvested and cared for the garden, campers ran the farm stand at the Barn Day Camp all summer, and helped out at the Killington Farmers Market.
  3. Over 20 campers participated in our chicken harvest at the end of the summer in a thoughtful and respectful manner.
  4. We had an amazing farm party where we honored our dear pig Matilda with songs, poems, and interpretive dance.
  5. Bread crew was one of the most popular chores; campers would ask if we could add more spots so they could wake up early and join.
  6. In the kitchen, campers learned how to butcher and cook a variety of different foods. There were a number of camper-led meals representing different communities and ethnicities.
  7. Rebecca Balint, the Speaker of the House from Vermont, and Steffen Gillom, the president of the NAACP in Vermont, participated in a panel facilitated by campers on social activism that ignited some powerful discussions.
  8. And of course, we played in the rain, sang songs a lot, had a daily spelling word, had fantastic Postum houses (talent shows), and created memories that will last forever.

Overall Tamarack Farm had a fantastic summer! And just to be clear–it was FC who filled the cups of water in our dining room, not IB.

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