An Update for Summer 2023
We currently have openings in our Summer Camp Youth Leader program; Beyond the Barn (overnight) Camp for ages 14-17; and short waitlists in our Teen Camps for ages 11-13 and 13-15.
Read on for additional details.
About Our Camp Experience
Immersed in the daily cycles of our farm community, campers experience the stories of the Land as they play, explore, and discover the wonders of the natural world. Our camps are designed to meet the developmental needs of each age group. Whether you have a younger camper excited to see the animals and search for eggs, or you have an older camper ready to cook and help the farmers, our camps offer age-appropriate experiences for curious campers of all ages.
All campers can expect a full week of adventures as they explore the many habitats and agricultural spaces around the Farm. Throughout the camp day, we offer lots of choices and often split up into smaller groups based on interest or ages. Some examples of camp choices include, but are not limited to:
- Visiting and caring for our farm animals
- Exploring the pond to dip for critters
- Meeting a newborn calf at the dairy
- Taking a tractor wagon ride to pick blueberries in the field
- Washing and spinning our sheep’s wool into yarn
- Baking bread and making butter
- Building forts and animal homes in the forest
- Picking kale to roast over a fire
- Digging, chopping, dicing, and tasting our way through the garden
We feel it is essential for all campers to be immersed in real farm experiences that engage campers in the daily cycles and rhythm of farm happenings and foster the development of a supportive community. All of our camps strive to encourage youth voice, nurture curiosity, and strengthen the connection between children, our food systems, and the natural world.
See some fun-filled moments from Summer Camp 2022
2023 Dates and Enrollment
Application Dates for Summer Camp and Camp Youth Leaders
- Initial placement process (January 15 - 18, 2023) has ended. We encourage you to still submit an online application.
- Summer Camp Youth Leader program currently has openings. Applications will continue to be reviewed and accepted on a rolling basis.
- Camp Openings and Short Waitlists: We currently have camp openings in our Beyond the Barn (overnight) Camp for ages 14-17, and short waitlists in our Teen Camps for ages 11-13 and 13-15.
- Placement Notifications sent via email January 31st: Accepted and Waitlist Notifications were sent to all applications received between January 15 - 18, 2023.
- January 19 - August 14, 2023: First come, first served applications continue to be considered for remaining openings or for the waitlist.
- Review full Application and Placement process
- Review Frequently Asked Questions
Opportunities for Teens
There are many ways for older campers to engage with the complexity of farm life, explore the forests and lake, build strong relationships with the land and each other, and have fun! All of our teen programs work to prioritize youth voice, leadership, and genuine engagement with each other and our ecosystem. We offer three programs over the course of the summer ranging from day camps, overnight experiences, and leadership roles.
- Market Garden (ages 11-13, 13-15): Our Market Garden camp is a week-long day program focused on all things food. Campers will participate in farm chores, prepare meals and snacks to share, and have the opportunity to enjoy the surrounding forests, fields, and lakes. This camp connects us to our food system and builds community through sharing meals, playing games, and exploring the farm.
- Beyond the Barn (overnight) (ages 14-17): Beyond the Barn is an overnight, week-long camp that invites high school aged campers to engage in building essential farm and life skills through authentic farm-based projects and community connection. This overnight camp is a combination of traditional camping activities and unique farm experiences that immerses campers in the daily cycles and rhythm of the farm. Learn alongside our farmers, gardeners, and naturalists as we build a relationship with the land around us. The joy of preparing and sharing all meals together, group discussions, personal reflection, games, and farm chores lead to the development of a tight-knit supportive crew. Each day will have scheduled downtime, choice activities, and the opportunity to cool off, swim, and enjoy Lake Champlain. Campers are not required to own any outdoor gear such as tents, sleeping bags, and sleeping pads, gear is available for campers to borrow as needed.
- Camp Youth Leader (ages 14-17): Camp Youth Leaders, under the mentorship of our education team, will learn how to facilitate hands-on activities in an agricultural and natural outdoor setting, build leadership skills, and gain place-based teaching experience while exploring the Farm with our youngest campers ages 4-8.
Accessibility & Inclusion
We strive to make summer camp on our working farm as accessible, safe, and inclusive as possible. We welcome campers who are emerging multilinguals, queer and questioning, as well as campers with social, emotional, physical, cognitive, or behavioral challenges, along with their 1:1 assistant or a personal care assistants. In many cases we are able to make modifications or adjustments to our program and are open to feedback or ideas. If you have questions or concerns about how we can best support your camper, please contact Jed Norris, Director of Farm-Based Youth Programs, at email@example.com.
Program Accessibility & Scholarship Fund
Shelburne Farms is committed to ensuring that finances are not a barrier to children experiencing our summer youth programs. We offer need-based financial assistance in an effort to make camp accessible to all children regardless of financial barriers. Applicants enrolled in summer camp will be able to select financial assistance using a need-based sliding scale. For those able, your donation to the Accessibility & Scholarship Fund is greatly appreciated. Thank you for helping all children to experience the joys of summer on the Farm.
Details and Logistics
- Provide camp programs that: are accessible to all children regardless of financial barriers, highlight the role farms play in providing our food and fiber, and inspire deep connections to community and a commitment to a sustainable future.
- Develop and sustain an inclusive and multicultural camp community that reflects and engages Vermont’s increasingly diverse populations.
- Build relationships with campers and families to encourage lifelong learning and sustained engagement with Shelburne Farms beyond summer camp through family programs, workshops, outreach, and community partnerships.
Before applying or visiting the Farm, please read our COVID Policies & Information.
Before & After Care
Campers may be dropped off as early as 8am and picked up as late as 5pm for all full-day camps. Before Care is available for all half-day morning camps and After Care is available for all half-day afternoon camps. Fee: $3/half hour per family.
Camp Drop off & Pick up Locations
We have assigned a drop off/pick up location for each camp, but all camps will spend their days exploring all over the farm. We’ll meet the farmers, animals, and get to know our meadows, fields, pastures, pond, dairy, farmyard, and gardens as we deepen our relationships with the food and natural systems of our farm community.
- Outdoor Classroom at Farm Barn (FB): Located in the forest behind the Farm Barn. The Outdoor Classroom has a campfire circle, the old sugarhouse for cubby space, work tables, running water, and an enclosed composting toilet.
- Farm Barn (side lawn): Located in the lawn on the North side of the Farm Barn. The location offers lots of space for gathering and easy access to a kitchen work space, bathrooms, the farmyard, gardens, campfire circle, and trails.
- Market Garden: Located at the Market Garden, a mixed vegetable and flower garden with fields and greenhouses. The Market Garden has a covered pavilion, campfire circle, outdoor kitchen, running water, and an enclosed composting toilet.
- Outdoor Classroom at Coach Barn (CB): Located in the forest behind the Coach Barn. The Outdoor Classroom has a campfire circle, outdoor kitchen, sheltered lean-tos, running water, and an enclosed composting toilet with an accessibility ramp and sink for hand washing.
- If you have any questions regarding specific camps and programming, please email Christine Lutters, Assistant Camp Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- If you have any questions regarding the application process, login information or using our CampBrain registration system, or financial assistance, please email email@example.com.