Camp Overview

In addition to our time with the horses, our camp program has expanded over the years to include additional activities that highlight the joys of farm living and the satisfaction of helping care for and maintain this bit of paradise. On a farm there is always work to be done, but we approach our daily chores with a sense of adventure and responsibility, and with an interest in acquiring new skills – whether exploring our fields and forests, feeding and caring for the animals, weeding and harvesting the garden, seeking creative and artistic outlets, or building and maintaining fences and farm structures – campers come away with a renewed sense of purpose and a deeper understanding of the interdependence of daily life.  

Our four areas of emphasis – Field and Forest, Halters and Hoofbeats, Crafts and Creations, and Seed and Shovel – allow campers to work on different projects throughout each session, pursuing areas of interest and acquiring new skills.

Field and Forest – Our setting is ideal for exploring. Whether going on hikes, learning to identify local birds and plants, or simply reveling in the beauty of the outdoors, campers will gain a deeper appreciation of our farm’s ecosystem. With hundreds of woodland acres in our backyard, we have more than enough room to stretch our legs and explore the streambeds, rock outcroppings, and blackberry thickets of our beautiful North Garden hills.  

Halters and Hoofbeats – Time spent with the horses promotes confidence and competence in a non-competitive setting. It does not matter if your child rides English or Western. Our goal is the acquisition of skills that will sustain a lifetime love of horses, regardless of discipline. Activities at the barn include instruction in safety, first aid, fitness, and training, as well as horse, barn, and pasture management. Our work with the horses includes ground work, round pen sessions, de-spooking, and negotiating trail obstacles. Riding and training sessions are progressive and adjusted as needed to meet individual training goals.

Crafts and Creations - Artistic and creative outlets abound. Whether weaving a dreamcatcher from honeysuckle vine or writing poetry inspired by a horse’s soft muzzle or a scratchy hay bale, campers can balance their sweaty days at the barn with their inner muse and the beauty of the farm. A variety of crafts are pursued each summer, including knitting, tie-dying bandanas and camp t-shirts, sketching and painting, or creating a paper-mâché pony. Cooking is also a fun feature of camp, whether making horse treats or something for everyone to share. And when the blackberries ripen, the hunt for the most productive patches begins, a quest that inevitably leads to the kitchen to cook and can a batch of blackberry jam.

Seed and Shovel – Farm life is never boring, and we always have a lot to do here at Old Meadows Farm to keep things running smoothly. Campers will be able to get their hands dirty and help out while learning hands-on skills. Maintaining fences often means hammering loosened nails and slapping on a coat of paint. Caring for our fields means monitoring the weeds and helping maintain the pastures. As our days unfold and the summer progresses, there are hay bales to be moved, water troughs to be scrubbed, paddocks to be picked, a garden to be maintained, and projects to be completed, whether building new bluebird houses, repairing a picnic table, or building an obstacle for trail training. Campers learn that farm work is satisfying since the results are tangible. They also discover that it is enjoyable since it is shared, and empowering since it is productive.

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