Farmhands Reflections and the Promise of a New Season

Today I saw the first green shoots of chives and yarrow emerging from the garden. Across the road from where I sit (in the Visitor Center of the Hutchinson Homestead and Learning Center), I see baby calves frolicking in the fields between nourishing themselves with their mothers milk. I can’t help but feel excited about the rejuvenation of life and endless Farmhands program possibilities for 2016!

Since planning efforts for summer 2016 programs have been in full swing lately it’s given me some delbert and kidstime to reflect and reminisce about last summer.   We kicked off our Farmhands summer camp 2015 fun with Farm Camp at Moonstone Farm and we capped off the season with Jr. Rancher Camp at the Hutchinson Homestead and Learning Center. In between, were 2 solid months of experiential fun and adventure on local farms and ranches throughout the Upper Arkansas Valley.  Our programs were chock full of participants last summer, sometimes requiring waiting lists.  Returning kids from previous summers and brand new campers joined our Farmhands family filling our days with rich and memorable experiences. All together we had 511 participants during our June and July Farmhands programs. We hope they all enjoyed their time on the farm and ranch last summer as much as we enjoyed having them and we look forward to seeing them again in 2016!

Last summer, Andrea Coen and myself were the primary instructors for our Farmhands programs 19896065221_fbb19b3048_oand we were so fortunate to be assisted by our first ever Farmhands Intern- Riley Ceglowski.  On summer break between her sophomore and junior years in college Riley jumped right in with a cheerful and enthusiastic spirit. We so enjoyed Riley’s positive outlook, able assistance, and fun energy throughout the summer.  Here are her own words about the work we do:

“Teaching children about how farms and ranches were run in the past

will assist them in understanding and

 appreciating things such as gardening, raising animals, and respecting the land”.

 We continue to refine how we structure our programs to build on the knowledge and skills our campers gain in previous years. We strive to provide a continuum of learning opportunities so that our youngest pre-schooler to our middle school participants can graduate to the next level of learning options within our agricultural community.  Please fill out this short survey to give feedback on programs you would like to see.  Click here to:  Take Our Short Survey Now!

Registration is now open on all of our summer 2016 programs.
Click HERE to learn more and to sign up today!

*Register by May 1 to receive early registration discounts.
Prices increase 10% after May 1.

Guest instructors are vital to our program.  Their varied skills are essential to our lively and dynamic programs.  Large animal vets, ferriers, fiber artists, historians, leather-workers, gardeners, and cowboys helped to provide context for traditional skills still being used on farms and ranches today. A huge thanks goes out to these volunteers who gave their time so selflessly. Lastly, not one of these programs could have taken place without the support of all our Farmhands participants and their families.

If you are interested in sharing your skills this summer or would like to volunteer at one of our camps please contact Karen Fortier: