This summer, the Fairfax County Department of Neighborhood and Community Services partnered with Arcadia, a nonprofit organization dedicated to creating a more equitable and sustainable local food system, to send youth to Arcadia Farm Camp. The camp, located at the famous Woodlawn Plantation in Alexandria, ran for five weeks in July and August 2022.
NCS provided transportation and Arcadia provided scholarships for students in grades one through six to attend the camp. Campers learned to tend vegetables, care for chickens and collect their eggs and harvest produce right from the farm for making snacks, as well as enjoyed independent play time guided by their interests.
According to Arcadia’s website, “During a day at Farm Camp our activities could range from compost explorations and making fresh salsa, to time with Visiting Educators who share their knowledge for farm topics from bees to goats! Our Visiting Educators are partners of Arcadia who come from across Virginia and DC. They are dedicated and delighted to conduct sessions with our Farm Campers.”
Ending each week on Fridays, parents were invited to tour the farm grounds and Woodlawn Plantation with their child as their guide. They were also given fresh produce to take home.
For more information on programs for kids and teens at NCS, see the NCS website.