An Update on Summer Camp
May 8, 2020
Dear Bellwether Summer Camp families and friends,
This is normally the time of the year when all at Bellwether Farm are eagerly awaiting the arrival of your children to experience everything that Bellwether summer camp has to offer. It is, therefore, with great disappointment that we announce the cancellation of all scheduled camp sessions for the 2020 summer season.
Following the directives of Governor DeWine and the guidance of both Director of the Department of Health, Dr. Amy Acton, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and in conversation with the American Camp Association and dioceses across the church, it is clear that the restrictions and protocols required for health safety make Bellwether’s exceptional programming for both day and overnight camp impossible. While we have explored numerous possibilities for providing alternative experiences for reduced numbers and activities, none meets the essential guidelines.
This decision does not diminish our expectation that we will return to a vibrant camp experience in the future. We know that, following this time of isolation and uncertainty, our children will need camp community and formation perhaps more than ever. In the meantime, we are currently exploring a daytime farm experience for individual families that we hope to offer when circumstances allow. As soon as we are safely able to bring families out to experience all the wonderful things that Bellwether has to offer, you will be the first to know.
In the upcoming days, all currently registered camper families will receive instructions on how to redirect registration payments toward pre-payment for 2021 summer camp, donation, or refund. Bellwether staff will be available to answer any questions and guide you through this process should you need assistance.
We know that this is not the outcome any of us wanted, but we are looking ahead to the days we will be able to jump off the dock, cook dinner in the woods, and sing loudly to greet the day together. These days are coming and we are holding fast to the anticipation of joy that will come with this reunion. We are so grateful for our Bellwether community and are holding all of you in our prayers. Please do not hesitate to reach out to Bellwether Staff for any reason. We have included our personal contact information and would love to talk with you.
Please stay safe and well, and know of our affection and gratitude,
Camp and Program Director
The Rt. Rev. Mark Hollingsworth, Jr.
Bishop of Ohio
Bellwether Farm summer camp is an opportunity for campers to immerse themselves in fun, engaging outdoor activities. These programs will seek to teach healthy social, nutritional, and environmental practices, while providing a safe context in which to encounter God’s beautiful creation. Campers will have an opportunity to learn about organic gardening, animal care, and creative cooking. They will also participate in traditional camp activities, including swimming, canoeing, arts and crafts, fishing, and field games. The Bellwether Farm staff is invested in the life of every camper, seeking to inspire future generations to become passionate leaders in the world around them.
Day Camp runs from Monday to Friday every week, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. This camp is specifically geared for children ages 5 to 8, and campers will get to experience all the same activities as the traditional overnight camps. Lunch is included.
Mini Camp is an opportunity for campers ages 6 to 8 to try out traditional overnight camp without committing to a full week. Mini campers will spend three days, two nights with other campers their age. There are two sessions offered, one from Monday to Wednesday and one from Thursday to Saturday.
Elementary Camp is for campers ages 8 to 11 and will run from Monday-Saturday. Campers will experience age and energy appropriate camp and farm activities, giving them opportunities to expand their horizons while making great friends! As our most high-energy campers, they will begin learning the practices of reflection, collaboration, and stewardship.
Junior High Camp
Junior High Camp caters to campers ages 12 to 14 and will run from Monday-Saturday. Many classic camp activities are tailored to this age group, offering more challenging reflection questions and giving more responsibility on the farm and in relationship with one another. Junior High camp is where many campers meet their life-long friends.
Senior High Camp
Senior High Camp is an action-packed week offered only for campers ages 15 to 18 that will run Monday-Saturday. In what can be a hectic time of life, this week offers a special place apart from technology, drama, and college applications and allows young people to be fully present with themselves, with nature, and each other. Senior High campers will explore self-reliance on the farm, in the kitchen, and in community. This week is sure to be one they will carry with them for the rest of their lives!
Leader-in-Training Program (LIT)
The Leader in Training program is a 3-week intensive program for high school campers age 16 to 18. This program is an opportunity for LITs to bridge the gap between being campers and camp counselors. Their first week will run similar to a traditional week with camp, while the second week will involve shadowing and assisting Bellwether Program Staff, including the Director, the Program Manager, the Farm Manager, the Chef, and others. During their final week, LITs will be paired with a Family Group, where they will support counselors and learn the ins and outs of camp staff responsibilities. LITs will stay through the weekend for the duration of the program. The LIT experience is a critical stepping stone to prepare them for the Jr. Counselor role.
Farm-Table-Song is a specialty camp only offered week 2 for Jr. High campers ages 12-14. Although the afternoon sessions will run much like a traditional week, campers will choose their "track" of learning for morning sessions.
Campers can choose from the following tracks:
Farm: This track is for campers who cannot get enough time on the farm with the vegetables and the animals! Campers will spend each morning on the farm with Farmer Kyle, participating in daily farm chores and learning about the ins and outs of sustainable farming. Campers will be responsible for planting seeds, weeding, collecting and harvesting eggs, harvesting produce for the kitchen, and much more. Each camper will leave with a pack of seeds to start their own garden operation at home.
Table: This track is for campers who are itching to get into our farm-to-table kitchen! Campers will use our teaching kitchen to work with a variety of kitchen experts, learning basic cooking techniques, such as knife safety, preparing fresh produce, bread baking, and more. Campers will assist in daily meal prep for the dining hall and ultimately will decide the menu and help prepare a meal for the camp's closing banquet.
Song: This track is for campers seeking a week to focus on musical development and performance. Using a combination of musical elements (such as percussive instruments, eurhythmics, songwriting, and vocal exercises), campers will experience the power of music to express themselves and build community. Their week will culminate in an original performance for the farm-to-table banquet at the end of the week.