DOVER-FOXCROFT - Finding educational fun for children during the summer months can be a challenge.
The Piscataquis County Soil and Water Conservation District's Ag Tour Summer Camp gives children ages seven to 14 an opportunity to explore five local farms to learn about nutrition, locally grown foods, farm animals and more.
Ag Tour camp will be offered in morning and afternoon sessions. Children age 7 to 10 may attend from 9 a.m. to noon. Children age 11 to 14 may attend from 1 to 4 p.m. Enrollment is limited to 30 children per session, so age groups may be adjusted to keep session numbers even or to accommodate individual family needs. This year, Foxcroft Academy is donating space in their Student Center (doors on the end of the building towards town) to accommodate this rapidly growing program.
On Monday, July 11, we will tour Breakneck Farm in Blanchard to learn about fallow deer, buffalo and maple syrup production. On Tuesday, July 12, the group will visit Gilrock Farm in Sangerville to learn about organic dairy production. Campers will meet the cows, feed the calves and go on a hay ride, as well as being treated to healthy dairy snacks by Horizon Organics.
On Wednesday, July 13, campers will visit Three Rivers Wing Shoot in Milo to learn about game bird farming and training hunting dogs. On Thursday, July 14, the group will visit Stutzman's Farm in Sangerville to learn about crop production and to pick their own peas and strawberries. The camp wraps up on Friday, July 15, with a visit to Infinity Farm in Dover-Foxcroft, where Horse Camp participants will teach Ag Tour campers about the grooming, care and riding of horses.
The district was able to offer camp to so many children this year due to a wide variety of support from the community. Funding from United Way's Keeping Kids on Track program enables the district to provide school bus transportation to the farms for our campers. Three days of camp, which incorporate nutrition education and locally grown food promotion, are being funded by the Piscataquis Public Health Council. Funds from the Milo Garden Club and donated materials from the Palmyra Wal-Mart make it possible for the children to create natural resource-based crafts during camp. Snacks will be provided courtesy of Save-a-Lot Food Store in Dover-Foxcroft again this year, and by Horizon Organics.
The conservation camps are only possible due to the help of farm families willing to open their homes to the children, and parents able to help provide supervision. Children should avoid wearing open-toed shoes. Water bottles, sun screen and insect repellent from home are welcomed. Ag Tour camp days may be cancelled in case of inclement weather. For registration information, call 564-2321, ext. 3, or stop by our office from 8 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. to pick up a registration form.
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