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Summer Camps

 

Registration is now open for Bloomfield Hills Schools 2019 summer camps! BHS has many different summer camp opportunities for students of all ages and for all interests throughout Oakland County. Students can explore the outdoors and have an exciting educational experience.

Bowers School Farm Summer Camps

Farm Camps
Charles L. Bowers School Farm Camps give campers an in-depth, authentic farm experience through hands-on exploration. Campers spend the day on a full working farm, engaging in sustainable gardening, animal care, and exploring 80+ acres of farmland. Each day, time is spent cooking and preparing fresh snacks in the kitchen, strengthening the connection between agriculture and everyday food choices. Building life skills such as responsibility, communication, and cooperation are key outcomes when campers spend their week making friends and having fun on the farm. Each camp session has a different theme, but all have common, age-appropriate, program goals: challenging ourselves, learning to work in a community, and connecting with nature.

Love a Pony
Grades K-2
Groom a Pony! Hug and ride a pony! During each class we will groom and ride a pony and do special pony projects. Get to know Patches and her pony friends. No Pre-K children, please. We meet in the gazebo at the Bowers Farm. Due to the small size of the ponies, there is a 60 pound weight limit for riding.

Barnyard Buddies Camp 
Ages 3-5
Barnyard Buddies Camp: the camp that started it all! A little bit of everything around the farm. Campers are introduced to the farm animals and the beautiful 90+ acres of Bowers Farm (these are 3-day sessions). Barnyard Buddies is for our youngest campers. Campers must be potty trained. Small groups & trained, experienced staff create a nurturing, hands-on environment where our campers can try new things, explore the animals, investigate the gardens and grounds and make new friends. Campers will be active and outside all day so dress for the weather. Campers should bring a nut-free lunch and water bottle; afternoon snacks will be made each day at camp.

Barnyard Buddies - Five Senses Farm Fun Camp 
Ages 3-5
Five Senses Farm Camp is also a Barnyard Buddies Camp. In this camp, campers explore the farm through the lens of their five senses: the sights and sounds of barnyard and pastures, the feel of freshly shorn wool, the tastes of crops from the gardens and more! Each day is spent focusing on experiential and sensory activities tailored to a camper's developmental stage. This is a two day session.

Barnyard Buddies - Farm on Foot Explorer Camp
Campers explore every nook and cranny of our historic farm grounds and meet the animals who call Bowers Farm "home".  From barnyard to horse pastures, and gardens to greenhouse, intrepid campers will enjoy hands-on activities designed to offer new challenges.  These are 3-day sessions.

Barnyard Buddies - Little Sprouts Camp 
Ages 3-5
Little Sprouts campers will get down in the dirt and investigate our gardens, help with planting, weeding, and harvesting.  They will create tasty treats from the bounty they collect.  Campers will also learn about the food our farm animals eat and help with the feeding chores.  This is a 3-day session.

Farm Camp: Outdoor Adventures 
Ages 6-10
Experience the adventurous side of the farm!  We will practice our wilderness skills as we construct fires for cooking, build shelters, explore in the forest and challenge ourselves on the ropes course. Each day camp includes animal chores, garden time, cooking and, new this year, camper choice activity time.

Farm Camp: Life on the Farm 
Ages 6-10
Dig into what life on the farm is like! During this week long camp, campers will get an authentic taste of daily farm life, learning how each day may bring its own unique farm challenges. We will compare modern day farming to the past as well as dream about future agriculture. Each camp day includes animal chores, garden time, cooking and, new this year, camper-choice activity time.

Farm Camp: Goats 'n Gardens 
Ages 6-10
Sustainable farming requires the input and cooperation of multiple components, especially between plants and animals. This week long camp encourages campers to ruminate on integral connections and discover natural harmonies all around the farm. Each camp day includes animal chores, garden time, cooking and, new this year, camper-choice activity time.

Farm Camp: Animal Excursions 
Ages 6-10
This week long camp is focused on the farm's most popular feature, our animals!!!  Campers will learn the importance of and how to care for the farm's livestock. Through hands-on activities, campers will understand the value of the animals and the products they provide. Each camp day includes animal chores, garden time, cooking and, new this year, camper-choice activity time.

Advanced Camp: Vet Science at the Farm
Ages 11-14
Come explore the critical field of animal and veterinary medicine!  Campers will participate in numerous, hands on learning activities gaining animal handling experience, learning how to use certain veterinary tools & technologies as well as practice physical exams.  This is a great introduction for youth considering future animal-related careers!  Each day camp includes time with the animals, garden, cooking and developing leadership skills.

Advanced Camp: Science in the Kitchen
Ages 11-14
Campers will cook through a "garden to table" model, harvesting produce from the garden and transforming it into delicious recipes. Campers will build fundamental culinary skills and expand on food science and nutrition knowledge. Get ready to chop, whisk, and get zesty as we build life-long skills and an appreciation for local food production.  Each camp day includes time with the animals, garden, cooking and developing leadership skills.

Advanced Camp: Equine Exercise, Beginners Horse Camp
Ages 11-14
Experience levels from first time riders to comfortable walk trotters. Discover the care, history, and development of the horse in addition to learning foundational riding skills. Play games on horseback, observe equestrian competition, and study the Bowers horses in their herd habitat. Long pants and proper boots required on a daily basis for participants within this session.  Certified helmets will be provided. Campers will ride once to twice daily.

Advanced Camp: Animal Science
Ages 11-14
Get up close and familiar with the various animals that call Bowers School Farm home. Help to care for our residential farm animals, study behavior, as well as learn about the importance of the wild animals we share our spaces with. Each camp day includes time with the animals, cooking and developing leadership skills.

Advanced Camp: Teen versus Wild Survival Camp - July
Ages 11-14
Embrace your inner survivalist to experience and learn new and thrilling wilderness skills. Campers will build fires, learn about and construct shelters, practice map and orienteering skills, cook outdoors, go hiking and canoeing, and be one with nature. Additionally, campers will practice archery and critical survival skills. On Thursday, we will test our new skills and end the week with an overnight camping experience on the farm, under the stars! Friday morning, campers will gather farm fresh ingredients to prepare a delicious breakfast, ending the day at noon. The overnight experience and camp takes place on the Bowers Farm site and may travel offsite for specialty activities.

REGISTER HERE!

BHS SUMMER CAMPS

BOWERS SCHOOL FARM NEWS

Carver's Contributions Carry On . . . Past to Present Here on the Farm
Many of us may recall George Washington Carver for his notable invention of numerous peanut products. However, many people are unaware of his exceptional contribution to sustainable agriculture, which continues to be an integral part of farming today.
 
Mr. Carver's expertise in soil chemistry led to revolutionary ideas and practices about compost and the importance of crop rotation. He made the connection that growing certain plants (i.e. nitrogen fixing plants - like peanuts), helped to restore soil health and facilitate future crop production.
 
These practices, which are globally recognized — and even used here at Bowers School Farm — have contributed to successful, sustainable and regenerative food production. His work and knowledge continue to support food diversity and food security all around the world.
Read more about Carver's Contributions Carry On . . . Past to Present Here on the Farm
Are YOU Coming to Summer Camp?
Summer camp registration is officially in full swing! We are so excited to welcome new campers, as well as our "alumni" campers. To see much of what we have to offer, take a look at our promotional video here. As a friendly reminder, we do have before and after care offered this year for full day campers. You must register for both camp and before or after care through Community Pass. We cannot wait to see you on the farm this summer!
Read more about Are YOU Coming to Summer Camp?
4H Dives Into Culture
On Saturday, February 9, Bowers 4H earned a phenomenal third place finish (2nd in club vote!) in their first ever participation in a culinary exchange competition. In conjunction with other 4H groups from around the county, our junior chefs worked hard to create unique and inspiring delicacies, representing their country of choice: Poland. Each group was delegated with the task of picking a country and sharing both cultural and cuisine elements.
 
The club made a cornucopia of foods to share and discover, including: dill pickle soup, kielbasa, sauerkraut, fermented pickles, dill cucumbers and two desserts. In addition, the members also showed off their dance skills, performing the well-known Polka, as a further representation of the culture. Well done, 4H'ers! You make Bowers proud!
Read more about 4H Dives Into Culture
Sow Many Piglets!
Each year, Bowers School Farm purchases a Yorkshire sow (a pig that has given birth) from Michigan State University's swine teaching and research facility for educational purposes. Our BHHS Intro to Agriculture, Food & Natural resources students complete a unit on the swine industry and are directly involved with the daily care of both the sow and the piglets.
 
This particular breed of sow was chosen due to her breed's great mothering abilities and large litter sizes (good moms make our job as caretakers easier!). Some students in the BHHS Animal and Veterinary Sciences class were able to be present and assist during the farrowing (birthing) process by taking accurate records, recording birth weights, and helping dry off the piglets as they were born.
 
This year our sow had a total of 13 piglets! She is able to rear up to 14, so we are very happy with our final number! Piglets are usually born averaging 2 to 3 pounds and will grow almost a pound a day for the first 60 days!
 
This time of the year is always a great learning experience for all students that are taking classes at the farm or visiting. It provides a glimpse into our food system and how producers work extremely hard to provide the best welfare for the animals they're raising.
Read more about Sow Many Piglets!