Stratford Ecological Center in Delaware County offers several summer camps for children and youth that provide the opportunity for them to experience life on a farm.
“Parents really want their children to have this experience because there just aren’t many places around that your kids can get this experience,” said David Hoy, Stratford Ecological Center development director. “Many people have had grandparents that have farms and they recall that in their lives and want their children to experience that.”
Hoy said that there are many summer camps available for kids, from 4-H camps to sports camps, but none of them offer the unique experiences that Stratford does.The Center has not had any trouble recruiting kids to the camps, and relies mostly on word-of-mouth.
“Our farm camps have sold out three years in a row, and we already have a waiting list for April,” he said.
Stratford also has a junior counselor program.
“They are passionate, they know our mission and they get everything about farm camp and they bring great spirit into our farm camps,” said April Hoy, Stratford Ecological Center farm camp director.
“We try to have a progression from toddler to teen, and when they turn 18 they can become a volunteer and have a lifelong involvement with Stratford,” Hoy said.
Along with the farm camps, Stratford holds Farm Story Time and Family Farm Chores programs and has Farm and Field trips for schools throughout the year.
Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation awarded a $3,000 Agricultural Action and Awareness Grant to Stratford Ecological Center for its children’s program.
Stratford Ecological Center is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the education of children and adults in understanding the relationships between living things and their environment, thereby fostering an appreciation of the land and all life that depends on it.
Read other stories about projects that received Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation grants