Critter Camp

If your child is younger, we offer Supper at the Barn - an animal chore class that's similar - yet age appropriate for ages 5-8

for ages 8 to 16 (must be 8 years old by May 1, 2017)
Critter Camp is offered in June, July and August

What is Critter Camp All About?
This three-day class gives animal lovers an experience of caring for farm animals and an inside look at our farm operation. Critter Campers learn how to feed and handle all the birds and animals. Kids learn about each species, the special care they require and their behaviors. We milk goats, feed baby animals, enjoy the farm, eat lunch in the hayloft, give a bath and learn about grooming. Kids enjoy many experiences with the animals while learning about farming and agriculture. Critter Camp is also about making new friends!

Critter Camp is a prerequisite for volunteering at the farm. After completing Critter Camp, students interested in volunteering may enroll in our Volunteer Orientation Class. Orientation classes are held weekly, so you can complete that requirement following your Critter Camp class, if you want to volunteer.  Students wear blue Critter Crew shirts (available at the farm) until they complete 20 hours.  Upon logging 20 hours of volunteering, students are given their own red Critter Crew membership shirt.  

To keep our skills sharp, Critter Crew Refresher classes are offered every spring to all Critter Crew members.  This class is required for all Crew members no matter how long they have been serving.  The purpose of the class is to equip our students, continue their education, review tasks, safety measures, and update them about what is new, Refresher classes must be completed by June 1 so volunteer Crew members can volunteer for the coming season.  

For the past two years, our director has taught all the Refresher and Orientation classes.  Due to the large numbers of children and young people attending, we will have a team of staff members join our director in teaching the class, and we will lengthen the class to 3 hours.  

The cost for taking our Refresher class is $25 per student.  Membership as a crew volunteer is very important, and we want every volunteering child and young adult  to be equipped to Make It the Best when they are at our farm.  
That's are Critter Crew motto.

Our Crew program is unlike anything else in Michigan, and keeping our members informed is key to having another outstanding year.  We are proud of the role the Crew members play in our farm, and are thrilled that we have an excellent safety record.  Conducting our annual class is a big part of this running successfully, making certain that each person is well informed about the latest Critter Barn procedures. 

When you take the class:
On day #1 and #2, bring a sack lunch and beverage; a morning snack is provided. Friday lunches will be provided by our sponsor, Boar's Head.  
Dress for the weather, wear older shoes, NO open toe or sandals!  

Bring your own water bottle. We hold class rain or shine.

When are the Classes?
Critter Camp Classes are offered during June, July and August

Two options each week:
Monday, Wednesday: 8:30 am to 1:30 pm and Fridays until 3:00 pm
Tuesday, Thursday: 8:30 am to 1:30 pm and Fridays until 3:00 pm

All students are at the farm on Friday from 8:30 am to 3:00 pm
Graduation with parents is at 2:15 pm sharp on every Friday.  

Critter Barn Partners with BOAR'S HEAD

Boar's Head Provisions of Holland is partnering with Critter Barn to teach the importance of why good farming practices and excellent care of the animals is important to us as a Food Manufacturer.

Look forward to hearing about our Hand Washing Program, Learn about Food Safety, and the importance of how the caring of the animals before getting to the manufacturer plays a vital part on the Quality of the Consumer's Product.  

On Friday, each Critter Camp class participant will each receive a sack lunch provided for them to taste and experience a Classic Boar's Head Turkey Sandwich, and know why, Boar's Head does not compromise when it comes to the finished product of our meats.  Boar's Head has ordered custom lunch bags for all Critter Camp students too keep.  

Here's what one parent had to say:

"Thank you, thank you thank you for the marvelous Critter Camp that my son, Mathieu finished today. His time on the farm was so special and I can't believe all he learned! He will be volunteering soon... He told Grandma and Grandpa (when they came for a tour yesterday) that "this is where I want to be in life." He has never been so confident and comfortable anywhere. I wish we would have done Critter Camp earlier in the summer so he could have spent more time there this summer... Thanks for all you do. You, and this teaching farm, are a gift."