Kids gardening is one of the season's hottest summer camp themes.
Writing Adventures Summer Camp at Longwood Gardens
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Kids gardening is a natural summer camp theme. Many local summer programs in Philadelphia, South Jersey and Delaware use their bucolic campuses to go even greener than they already are, integrating camper-tended summer vegetable gardens into their learn-through-fun activity mix.
As they nurture a garden, kids develop a sense of caretaking responsibility while they increase eco-awareness about the green stuff on their plates. That’s the purpose of the summer vegetable garden at Fiddlehead Day Camp at Fernbrook Farms Environmental Education Center in Chesterfield, NJ. “We want kids to take in the knowledge that growing food is hard work,” says public programs coordinator Jenna Collins. “We want them to take in the knowledge that growing food is hard work and that other factors affect what they eat. If it’s a bad season for strawberries, for example, then they won’t see as many strawberries that year.”
Fiddlehead campers grow fruit, vegetables and herbs, as well as tend a tea garden. Kids' gardening is built in to the daily schedule. “We have morning chores, such as checking for insects and planting seeds,” Collins says. “We also beautify the space — kids decorated stones to label each section of the garden, and we laid bricks to make a path in it.”